Black Manhattan

I have shaken off my unexpected ailment to be back to shaking cocktails again. My passion – Manhattan – took a two week holiday while I was being shaken by fever. Yet my new old infatuation with Manhattan found its way around and became the topic of our next S.I.P. Isn’t that great!

Well, now then, I am back to my Manhattan project in which I am exploring a very interesting idea – the use of exotic Italian liquor called amaro instead of trivial sweet vermouth. Amaro is a kind of strong herbal liquor made on the neutral spirit base. A composition of most Amaro drinks is rather complex. It includes dozens of different spices and herbs.

Some time ago I posted about my exhilarating experience with Amaro used as an ingredient in Fernet Cocktail. Actually, Fernet is the strongest variety of Amaro. Believe me, Fernet cocktail with rye whiskey makes quite a potion. The spiciness of rye on a par with the herbal strength of fernet makes magic.

Frankly speaking, what I really want to try next in my Manhattan is a certain kind of amaro –sweet and rich Amaro Felsina Ramazzotti. A quick web search is made which brings to me two lovely recipes. The former is an old MxMo post by Stevi Deter who describes the almost flawless Purosangue cocktail – an interesting concoction of Ridgemont Reserve 1792 bourbon with Amaro Ramazzotti. And the latter is nothing but Black Manhattan, the recipe of which was given in the “Washington Post”. It recommends to use Amaro Averna and rye as ingredients. However I would rather take Amaro Ramazzotti instead.

Black Manhattan

50 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
25 ml Amaro Ramazzotti
1 dash Angostura bitter
Stir all ingredients with a lot of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

I have tried Black Manhattan with different kinds of whiskey – American bourbon whiskey (Jim Beam Black) and several Canadian whiskeys (unfortunately I am still constrained to use Canadian whisky instead of most authentic rye).I have got a perfect result with my new Canadian whisky – Black Velvet Reserve 8 y.o. This very smooth whisky with delicate rye spiciness works very well with sweet and herbal Amaro Ramazzotti. The use of bourbon also produces a good effect.

The Black Manhattan Cocktail is a thoroughbred Manhattan. It possesses a bitter-sweet taste with herbal and whiskey notes. It also has a long-lasting aftertaste too. It is awesome Manhattan with great look – the color of this Manhattan is almost black. With its black colour it is as elegant as Armani in his hey-day :)

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Dubonnet Manhattan

My new passion is Manhattan. Manhattan is old and classic cocktail with american whiskey (bourbon or rye), sweet vermouth and cocktail bitters. One of the key ingredient of the good Manhattan is vermouth. Unfortunately we have very pour range of vermouth in Ukraine now. There are available Martini, Cinzano and somewhere Gancia. But we have another way to vary our Manhattan expirience – to use Dubonnet instead vermouth in this magnificient cocktail.

The vermouth is fortified wine vwith aromatic plant extract. Dubonnet is fortified sweet wine with hint of quinquina. It is so similar stuff.

The first recipe of Dubonnet Manhattan was founded at CocktailDB. It is so similar to Dubonnet Cocktail with whiskey instead gin.

The Dubonnet Manhattan Cocktail garnished with a red marascniho cherry (Коктейль Дюбонне Манхэттен, украшенный красной мараскиновой вишней)

Dubonnet Manhattan

35 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
35 ml Dubonnet Rouge
Stir in mixing glass with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

First I try this cocktail with bourbon whiskey. I use Maker’s Mark handcrafted bourbon.

The Dubonnet Manhattan Cocktail is realy very good. This cocktail has very interesting taste with sweet muscat entry with a lot of fresh grapes and fruits, so sweet and smooth palate and great bourbon finish. I try this cocktail with canadian whisky also. The result is quite different. The main palate is sweet wine with a hint of whisky. But both of this cocktails are not Manhattan, actually.

Another recipe of Dubonnet Manhattan I found at the great Intoxicologist’s post Make Mine a Manhattan Holiday. This cocktail contain some dry vermouth for good balance.

The Dubonnet Manhattan Cocktail garnished with a amarena cocktail cherry (Коктейль Дюбонне Манхэттен, украшенный коктейльной вишней)

Dubonnet Manhattan #2

50 ml bourbon
20 ml Dubonnet Rouge
7 ml vermouth dry
3 dash Angostura bitters
Stir in mixing glass with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist and cocktail cherry.

Actually this recipe is promo for Evan Williams bourbon and american Dubonnet (both crafted by Heaven Hill). I use Four Roses bourbon and french Dubonnet Rouge. Also I use only 1 my big dash of Angostura for good balance.

The cocktail is excellent! It is very good Manhattan recipe. Dubonnet Rouge and Martini Extra Dry work very well together. The result is great sweet “vermouth” taste. The Dubonnet Manhattan #2 has smooth very good balanced and round piquant taste with main bourbon palate. It is admirable Manhattan!

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Two Manhattan Variations

Angostura bitter is hard available in the Ukraine. But Angostura bitter is essential ingredient of the famous Manhattan. Manhattan is truly magnificient cocktail. As Garry Regan wrote in they The Joy of Mixology Manhattan is King of Cocktail. Actually we can make acquaintance with Manhattan with help of two very interesting special variations.

The Special Manhattan Cocktail was found at the CocktailDB. It contain Campari Bitter instead Angostura.

The Special Manhattan Cocktail garnish with red maraschino cherry (Коктейль Манхэттен Особый, украшенный мараскиновой вишней)

Special Manhattan Cocktail

50 ml whiskey
25 ml sweet vermouth
7 ml Campari
Stir well with a lot of ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cocktail cherry.

Actually a proper whiskey in Manhattan are american whiskeys like rye whiskey or bourbon, but you may substitute with canadian whisky with apropriate results.

I tasted several combinations with all of my canadian whisky – Canadian Club, Black Velvet and my favorite Crown Roal De Luxe. Also I use two of my sweet vermouths – Martini & Rossi Rosso and Cinzano Rosso. IMHO Martini Rosso vermouth is not great choice for both cocktails. The Cinzano works well in both.

The Special Manhattan Cocktail is great man’s drink. It is connoisseur’s choice. This cocktail is too similar to original Manhattan. It is strong bitter sweet and complex cocktail with aromatic profile. The bitternes of this two cocktails are so different.

Our next cocktail is Esquire Manhattan. This cocktail was created by D. Wondrich for Manhattan Experience Contest. This Manhattan contain Fernet-Branca instead of Angostura.

The Esquire Manhattan Cocktail (Коктейль Эсквайр Манхэттен)

Esquire Manhattan (Эсквайр Манхэттен)

50 ml bourbon
25 ml sweet vermouth
12 ml Fernet-Branca
Stir well with a lot of ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and add a orange twist.

Original recipe prescribe Woodford Reserve bourbon and Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth.

The Esquire Manhattan is great cocktail. It has strong bitter-sweet taste with great bourbon palate. The bitter finish are very interesting with a lot of herbal bitter notes of Fernet-Branca. It is great Manhattan expirience.

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