The Black Manhattan is the Megan Draper of cocktails. It’s the younger, darker-haired variation of its predecessor and wholly enchanting to someone a bit old-fashioned and fixated on all things whisky. It feels both familiar and a little exotic, best suited for those seeking something new and chic that can play the part situated high atop the city in a penthouse suite, hanging above the social turmoil and counterculture happening on the busy streets below.
This is really a great cocktail for those just getting into serious cocktails. It’s dead simple to put together as it’s basically just two types of alcohol and unlike a regular Manhattan, you don’t have to worry about finding a quality sweet vermouth, which is a near impossible task in Ontario. Amaro Averna is what’s typically called for in this cocktail. It’s thick, sweet and herbal, lending a deliciously complex flavour to the drink. If you have trouble finding it, you could substitute in another type of sweet amaro. I’ve become fond of variation that uses Vecchio Amaro del Cappo though it’s lighter in colour, creating a cocktail that looks more like a traditional Manhattan.
Makes 1 cocktail
2 oz bourbon
1 oz Amaro Averna
1 dash Angostura
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
2 bourbon-soaked cherries, for garnish
In a mixing glass filled with ice add the bourbon, Amaro Averna, and bitters. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the bourbon-soaked cherries.
50g granulated sugar
50ml cold water
100g good quality dried cherries
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the bourbon and cherries. Cover and leave to plump for approximately 30 minutes. Once plumped, pack the cherries into a resealable jar and refrigerate until ready to use.