What a journey the past 74 years have been! From the early days of housing only 30 guests, to our current capacity of 140, we have been fortunate to meet and make many lifelong friends that call East Hill Farm their home away from home. You are truly our extended Farm family!
The Inn at East Hill Farm will be celebrating our 75th Anniversary during the weekend of February 4-6, 2022. As with all celebrations, it is more fun to have your friends and loved ones to celebrate with. Please mark your calendars and consider joining us for this momentous occasion!
We will be sharing photos, behind the scenes, and fun stories in a series of monthly blog, Instagram, and Facebook posts leading up to the celebration. While the Inn’s history dates to 1772, we are focusing on what it has been since right after WWII, an agritourism destination.
The tradition of serving Manhattans was started by Parker (Whitcomb) in the early days of East Hill Farm welcoming guests. The original recipe was two parts blended whiskey, one-part sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters, and a splash of cherry juice, served in a stemmed glass with a stemmed maraschino cherry as a garnish.
When Sally and I first arrived at the Inn, the cocktail parties on the lawn consisted of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Parker. There were olives and chunks of cheese skewered with toothpicks on a cabbage head, pineapple wrapped in bacon, meatballs in sauce, slices of egg, ham salad, or whatever was available on crackers. There were at most, 10-15 adult guests at the cocktail parties.
And Manhattans served in glass stemware and poured from a glass pitcher.
As the Inn grew, so did the cocktail parties. The glass stem glasses and glass serving pitcher were replaced by the traditional green plastic serving pitcher and more practical and safer plastic stem glasses.
A fruity Rum Punch choice was introduced in the 1970s to offer a less potent alternative to the Manhattan.
It was always amusing that our long-time guests did not waiver from the Manhattans. The younger over 21-year-olds would be quick to try one, because that is what their parents drank. The next generation would say “I don’t usually drink a Manhattan, but my grandparents do so, OK! I will have one (or 2 or 3). Besides, it is a tradition at the Farm!”
One of our long-time guests even added his own twist by combining ½ Manhattan with ½ Rum Punch. It caught on with a lot of guests that summer week and the requests have appeared at other times as well.
There have been several reports over the years of off-site “Manhattan parties” held by groups of East Hill Farm guests in several locations around the country. As good an excuse for a party as any! We are happy to be a part of our guests’ party planning.
As you can see, the East Hill Farm Manhattan has been part of Farm tradition for a long time. Although things change with time, the basic recipe (with a few tweaks) is still used. The spirit of hospitality and friendship are still served up with every Manhattan.
Submitted by: Farmer Dave
Next time we’ll travel on to the Groovy 1970s