Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
Ok, so everyone out there surely knows something about the Manhattan cocktail or has some recipe for it. I find it to be one of the most delicious and most versatile cocktails in my repertoire and one that I am constantly tweaking. Swap in new bitters, some obscure Italian amaro, a new vermouth and you have subtly different and gloriously complex variations on the classic.
My go-to ratio for Manhattans (and martinis) is 2:1 spirit to vermouth, plus a dash of bitters. I feel confident in that ratio and I’m happy with the results. That being said, it is a ratio that can be easily redistributed with glowing results. Use equal parts sweet vermouth and spirit and you’ll get great results. You can swap the ratio to 2 parts vermouth and one part spirit and get great results. Again, it’s very versatile.
With all that being said, if you were to sit at my bar tonight and order a Manhattan, what you would get is a cocktail with Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth, Ramazotti, Rothman and Winter Orchard Cherry Liqueur, and Black Walnut Bitters. This variation brings up the cherry notes a little bit while maintaining the sweet/bitter balance with the use of Ramazotti. I like the black walnut bitters in place of a more classic Angostura because you get the depth of flavor without the clove, allspice and cinnamon notes. For your mixing pleasure, here is the recipe.
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
1/2 oz Rothman and Winter Orchard Cherry
1/4 oz Ramazotti
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
Combine all these ingredients and stir to combine. Strain into a glass and garnish with a cherry.