cocktail virgin slut: black manhattan

cocktail virgin slut: black manhattan


2 oz Bourbon (Angel’s Envy)
1 oz Averna
1 dash Angostura Bitters (optional)
1 dash Orange Bitters (optional)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry. Given the citrus elements in Averna, an orange or lemon twist would not be out of place here as a garnish instead.

Yesterday, I did a video shoot at Redstone Liquors in Stoneham with my brand work for Angel’s Envy where we demonstrated the making of a Black Manhattan. I then realized that I had never written up this drink on the blog for I had already put it in my online drink journal in 2007. The Black Manhattan was created by bartender Todd Smith at San Francisco’s Bourbon and Branch two years prior in 2005 as a delightful riff on the Manhattan. The classic recipe had the sweet vermouth replaced with the Italian bittersweet liqueur Averna which donates rich and complex caramel, bitter orange, lemon, pomegranate, and Mediterranean herbs to the mix. The original recipe called for Bourbon although more modern ones utilize rye; in addition, various recipes include both Angostura and orange bitters, only one, or none at all. As I mention in the video, this drink is rather flexible for it works with a variety of amaro including Cynar, Amaro Montenegro, Amaro Nonino, and Ramazzotti. I love the variations (see the my Cynar F.L.A.N. recipe), but I always stick with Averna when I call it a Black Manhattan proper.

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