Black Manhattan

Classic cocktails are classic for a reason. A well made Manhattan is a thing of beauty, balanced and complex, slightly sweet and boozy, and perfectly highlighting your whiskey of choice. Like most things though, variety is the spice of life and always has me interested in trying something new.

Recently, I've been playing with Amari.

If you aren't familiar with Amari (plural of Amaro, Italian for "bitter") you aren't alone. At its most basic, an Amaro is an Italian bitter-sweet liqueur made by macerating herbs, vegetables, roots, bark, flowers, citrus, whatever, in alcohol (a neutral spirit, wine, or a combination of the two). Many countries make them, although technically it has to be from Italy to be an Amaro. The first Amaro I had ever heard of was Campari, used in the classic Negroni. I originally found Campari too bitter for my tastes so the first bottle of Amaro I bought was Aperol. Used in drinks like the Cheeky Negroni, It's Always Sunny and the Faux Negroni, I was in love. The bittersweet orange herbal liquor had a hold of me and I wanted to try more. My next bottle was Ramazzotti. There is still citrus here, but it's not as prominent. Instead, root beer, chicory, and sweet baking spices all play together creating completely different flavor profile.

My first cocktail using Ramazzotti was the Brooklyn. Here, the Amaro mixed perfectly with Rye Whiskey, Maraschino and Vermouth. But that got me thinking. Ramazzotti and rye worked so well together, couldn't I simplify and make a cocktail using just those two ingredients? A quick search online brought me to a Washington Post article using Averna Amaro with Rye to create a Black Manhattan. It was all the inspiration I needed.

The Black Manhattan
Pour the whiskey, Ramazzotti and bitters into a mixing glass with ice cubes.

Stir well.

Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with one (or two) cocktail cherries. 

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