You don't have to wander too far in Downtown Fullerton to find a bartender familiar with basic cocktail mixes.
A request for a Manhattan at Mulberry Street won't be met with the head-scratching you might get at some OC watering holes (you know, the ones that are more about what the waitresses aren't wearing and less about what you're drinking).
The bartendress offered that one of her regulars had his with Southern Comfort, but I stuck with Maker's Mark; she mixed the concoction in a shaker along with a splash of vermouth, bitters and garnished with a cherry. For added sweetness, she poured a little juice from the cherry container into the drink, while being careful not to overwhelm the mix with sugar (let's save the candy for Halloween.).
The result was a smooth drink with a high alcoholic content that doesn't lead to involuntary face twitching with each sip. And for the warm fuzzy feeling it engendered, the price was right at $6.
Mulberry Street Ristorante 114 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton 92832.
114 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton, CA