Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, a catalog of literati, and the architects of some of humankind’s most monumental creations (see: FDR’s New Deal, Teddy Roosevelt’s Panama Canal, Microsoft, Facebook) are just a few of the progressive thinkers churned out by Harvard. It is with no small measure of irony, then, that the Harvard is no wondrous, imaginative cocktail, but merely a minimal reworking of the Manhattan, swapping cognac in place of whiskey and enlivening the production with a splash of seltzer. It’s more velvety and brighter than the original, but far more intriguing than the formula is the description that accompanied it when the recipe was published in the 1931 Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book: “Named after the school for young men, whose site is contiguous with the Charles River, in a suburb of Boston. Alumni who drunk it sometimes lost the ‘Harvard accent.’ ” If that’s the only consequence of being a Harvard alum, it’s a small loss for all the gains they’ve provided to society.
Makes 1 drink
1½ ounces cognac
1 ounce Italian vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Seltzer water, to top
1. Pour cognac, vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass over ice. Stir 15 seconds.
2. Strain into a coupe. Top with seltzer.
Adapted from Esquire.comLiza Weisstuch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @livingtheproof.