How to Make a Black Manhattan, a Rule-Breaking Twist on the Classic Whiskey Cocktail

The Black Manhattan is like a Manhattan, but more so. It takes the energy of a normal Manhattan cocktail—no one’s idea of a shrinking violet, I think you’d agree—and supercharges it. If the standard Manhattan is a song played on a piano, the Black Manhattan is that same song on a pipe organ—big, booming chords of flavor, filling every available space. adaqq

Most Manhattan variations follow a simple template: You take the standard recipe for the Manhattan (2 oz. whiskey, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters), and reduce the vermouth by half and accent it with a small pour of some other liqueur. There are lots of these: Use Cynar and it’s a Little Italy; Maraschino and it’s a Red Hook; Benedictine for a Fort Point; you can go on and on. The Black Manhattan does not follow this rule, because when Todd Smith thought up the cocktail in 2005, the rule hadn’t been invented yet.Well, 2005 wasn’t that long ago, but in mixology terms, it’s practically a lifetime. All the templates and cocktail families and best practices that everyone now knows and takes for granted were, at the beginning of George W. Bush’s second term, still being formed. What this means for the Black Manhattan is not only that it is a Manhattan in which the sweet vermouth is not reduced but fully supplanted with an ounce of the Italian bittersweet liqueur, Averna (the aforementioned rule-breaking) but also, it means that the online recipes are kinda all over the place, because the conception of a Manhattan in 2005 was different to what it is today. adaqq


More from this stream