Friday, July 9, 2010

The Black Manhattan

The famous San Francisco summer fog has me in the mood for amaro cocktails. I half-remembered reading somewhere about a Manhattan variation with Averna. While I never did find the article I was thinking of, Paul Clarke mentions having had this cocktail at Bourbon & Branch, where it was made with Eagle Rare bourbon and called the Black Manhattan. I had Eagle Rare around so that was easily settled on, and I used Angostura for the bitters. There’s a Washington Post article that suggests Regans’ orange bitters as well as aromatic bitters, which seemed a nice touch.

Black Manhattan
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz Averna
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Regans' orange bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

The Averna made for an attractively dark drink. This was a little heavy for me, though the housemate and I enjoyed it. We tried it 2:1 first, but it was more to my taste with 2 ounces bourbon to about 2/3 of an ounce of Averna. And maybe the bitters got lost under the weight of the Averna and I should’ve found something with more contrast. The cherry garnish was unobjectionable, but my next try will be with a twist—maybe a even a flamed orange peel would be good for this one.

QUESTIONS FROM THE BEFOGGED: Anybody have a preference for bitters for the Black Manhattan? Do you have a favorite Averna cocktail?

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