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  • Writer's pictureAdam Mangen

Cocktail of the Week: Midnight Manhattan

Amaro amore mio! That might be how an Italian describes the bitter digestif (I assume), for everyone else it's usually just, "What the heck is Amaro?" That's a fair question, especially since different kinds of Amaro have popped up in craft cocktails all over the world recently.

Amaro is an Italian herbal bitter liqueur consumed as an after dinner digestif. It's a broad category of liqueur with common brands like Campari, Aperol, and Cynar. Here is all you need to know if you are unfamiliar with Amaro: 1) It's bitter, 2) It has a wide range of flavors, 3) it makes drinks better. For me, anytime I see a cocktail that calls for sweet vermouth I try a substitution for Amaro. This usually makes a better version of the drink.

Substituting Amaro for sweet vermouth is the inspiration for this week's Cocktail of the Week: The Midnight Manhattan. The Midnight Manhattan is based on Detroit Bartender Travis Fourmont's recipe that won the 2013 Master of the Manhattan competition. The addition of Italian Amaro lends a herbal undertone to this whiskey forward drink. Combined with orange and cherry liqueurs, this is a perfect, after-dinner cocktail you won’t soon forget.



2 oz. Woodford Reserve

½ oz. Averna Amaro

¼ oz. Solerno Bitter Orange Liqueur or Cointreau

¼ oz. Cherry Heering

4 dashes Orange Bitters


Pour all ingredients over ice and stir.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a flambéed orange twist or Luxardo cherries.

Check out the full recipe page here.


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