Black Manhattan – Rye Whiskey and Amaro

Deep red cocktail with Whiskey and vermouth


60 ml I 2 oz Rye Whiskey
30 ml I 1 oz Averna Amaro
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Orange Bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain in a coupe glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry. I like to serve the cherry in the glass on a spoon.

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The story of the Black Manhattan

The Black Manhattan is a modern twist on the classic Manhattan, a cocktail that dates back to the late 19th century. The original Manhattan consists of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, stirred with ice and strained into a chilled glass, garnished with a maraschino cherry. The black Manhattan replaces the sweet vermouth with Averna, an Italian amaro that adds a bittersweet and herbal flavor to the drink. The black Manhattan also adds a dash of orange bitters, which complement the citrus notes of the amaro and the spice of the rye.

This beautiful dark red cocktail was created in 2005 by Todd Smith, a bartender at Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy-style bar in San Francisco. Smith was inspired by the popularity of amari, bitter liqueurs that are often consumed as digestifs or mixed with soda or tonic water. He experimented with different amari and found that Averna worked well with rye whiskey, creating a balanced and complex cocktail that appealed to both whiskey lovers and amaro enthusiasts.

There is one more thing I think you should pay attention to: While I like to drink the classic Manhattan with bourbon, I prefer the Black Manhattan with a rye whiskey. Perhaps the spicy notes of the Rye pair better with the herbal notes of the Averna. But taste it for yourself.

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