Manhattans & Bacon-Wrapped Dates

As promised... here's not one, but *two* secrets revealed: The Perfect Manhattan

2 oz. Maker's Mark bourbon 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth dash Bitters 1 Maraschino Cherry

Combine bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, but briefly. Strain into a lowball glass. Add maraschino cherry and serve immediately. Drink less hurriedly.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

2 C. pitted dates 1/2 C. water 1/2 C. orange juice 3 Tbs. wine vinegar 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1/2 C. brown sugar pinch salt 16 oz. bacon, sliced in thirds (go for the thicker, less fatty variety) toothpicks

Combine water, o.j., wine vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring. Place dates in a pyrex dish or bowl, pour marinade over dates, allow to sit for (optimal) 24 hours in the refrigerator before proceeding. After the dates have cooled and marinated, wrap each date with 1/3 slice of bacon and skewer through with a toothpick. Lay skewered bacon-wrapped dates in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place under broiler appx. 6 inches from heat source. Broil for 6-8 minutes, turning once.

Enjoy! J.Fish