Keep it classy this cocktail hour with a Black Manhattan Cocktail, a sophisticated spin on the classic Manhattan cocktail. This cocktail is easy to make at home and a fun way to experiment with new flavors. It would be a perfect addition to a cocktail menu alongside our Mexican Martini and Vodka Sour!
The Black Manhattan recipe features complex flavors, about as booze-forward as mixed drinks come, and isn't overly sweet. This cocktail recipe is equipped with two flavors of bitters: rye whiskey and Averna Amaro in place of the traditional sweet vermouth.
MANHATTAN VS. BLACK MANHATTAN
The classic Manhattan cocktail is known for being strong and boozy. Traditionally made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, this cocktail is loaded with complex flavors -- rich, spicy, and somewhat pungent. In fact, it's safe to say that if you don't like the taste of alcohol, this is most definitely not the cocktail for you.
The Black Manhattan is a spin-off of the Manhattan created by bartender Todd Smith of San Francisco's Bourbon and Branch. It offers a flavor profile similar to the traditional Manhattan recipe, only it uses Italian Amaro instead of sweet vermouth. If you like bitter flavors, this swap in the Black Manhattan is in your favor.
Averna Amaro is a dark, herbal Italian liqueur traditionally garnished with an orange peel and sipped over ice. It hails from Sicily and was named after its creator, Salvatore Averna in 1868.
This liqueur comes equipped with bold flavors like orange, licorice, juniper, rosemary, and sage. It's bittersweet (although not nearly as bitter as Campari), and its mix of flavors blend particularly well with spicey rye whiskey.
HOW TO MAKE A BLACK MANHATTAN
Making a Black Manhattan Cocktail is about as simple as making a cocktail at home can get! You don't even need a cocktail shaker. What you do need, however, is a mixing glass, ice, a stirring spoon, and the following ingredients:
- rye whiskey,
- Averna Amaro,
- Angostura bitters (also known as aromatic bitters),
- and orange bitters.
Add the ice to your mixing glass, followed by the rye whiskey, Averna Amaro, a dash of aromatic bitters, and orange bitters. Stir the Black Manhattan Cocktail for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Strain and pour the cocktail into a chilled martini or coupe glass. The traditional way to garnish this cocktail is with a Luxardo maraschino cherry alone.
These are candied cherries that have been soaked in thick Sardo Morasca cherry syrup. They are dark red in color and add the perfect balance of sweetness to this rather bitter cocktail.
For a pop of color, we also threw in the orange peel garnish to top off the Black Manhattan Cocktail. The easiest way to peel an orange for a cocktail garnish is to use a vegetable peeler. Hold the peeler still, applying gentle pressure against the orange. Slowly rotate the orange, keeping the peeler above the pith and just below the surface of the orange.
6 MORE COCKTAILS TO TRY AT HOME
This easy-to-make-at-home Black Manhattan Cocktail recipe is a spin on the timeless Manhattan beverage that will be a for-sure crowd pleaser!
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 ounce Averna Amaro
- 1 dash aromatic bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Garnish with Luxardo cherry and orange peel
Add whiskey, Averna, and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
Strain and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with orange peel and cherry. Serve and enjoy responsibly!