Cocktail Idea: The Black Manhattan

As many of you already know, we are pretty big cocktail fans here at Vine Arts Wine and Spirits (that includes both production and consumption). This week we bring a luxurious and satisfying cocktail idea: the Black Manhattan.

The Manhattan has been a staple on any good cocktail list and has been included in the repertoire of any bartender worth his or her salt since its inception in the 19th century in the burrow of its Manhattan in New York City. A classic Manhattan is a combination of whisky (usually rye), sweet vermouth and bitters.

The Black Manhattan adds a decadent twist to this classic cocktail by substituting Averna for the sweet vermouth and, if you’re willing to take a suggestion, chocolate bitters for the classic Angostura bitters.

Averna is a classic Sicilian amaro (a bitter liquer made from a unique blend of herbs) that is traditionally consumed as a digestif after a meal. Averna’s dark colour and intense flavour delivers a unique twist to the classic Manhattan. The substitution of Fee Brother’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters rather than the traditional Angostura bitters also adds an extra layer of complexity (credit for the idea for this substitution must be given to our rockstar bartender friend Josh Cawthorpe…it was his suggestion).

So the next time you want to add a little spice to your life or kick your “Mad Men” themed party into high gear, give this sinister cocktail a shot. You just might find a new favourite.

The Black Manhattan

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon (we suggest either High West Double Rye or Buffalo Trace Bourbon…both available at Vine Arts…naturally)
  • 1 ounce Averna (yeah, we have that too)
  • Dash of Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters (you get the picture…available at Vine Arts big time!)
  • Brandied cherry (optional)

Throw the booze and bitters in a mixing vessel with ice. Stir. Strain. Pour into a glass (rocks or martini). Drop in a brandied or maraschino cherry, if thats what floats your boat. Put it in your booze hole. BAM!

There you have it. A new addition to your repertoire. Now go find some friends, or at least some people who will tolerate your company for a short time in exchange for liquor, and enjoy.


Vine Arts


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