Best Black Manhattan Recipe For You

Invented by bartender Todd Smith in 2005 while bartending at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco, Black Manhattan swaps its time-honored sweet vermouth for an amaro. The resulting cocktail is more bitter in profile and offers earthy herbal goodness.

The black manhattan recipe takes its name from the shades provided by Averna amaro commonly used in cocktails. While it took about 135 years to adapt the original in this way, Black Manhattan may still be a mainstay in bars around the world.

What’s in the Black manhattan recipe?

The original Manhattan recipe from the 19th century had only three ingredients: rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

Todd Smith’s variant isn’t just swapped for sweet vermouth in Amaro Averna. It also adds a second type of cocktail bitters. Just a dash of orange bitters gives the drink a beautiful fruity taste.

Here is a list of ingredients for the Black Manhattan Cocktail:

  • Rye Whiskey
  • Amaro Avina
  • Angostura bitters
  • Orange Cocktail Bitters
  • maraschino cherry garnish

    Amaro Avina

The Amaro category is a collection of bittersweet liqueurs from Italy. These liqueurs are infused with countless herbs, peels, peels and roots to create a unique herbal flavor. Although all Amari are made similarly, the difference in taste can be huge.

Amaro Averna is a rather sweet, spicy and herbal Amaro with notes of honey and chocolate. For example, it has far fewer bitter notes than Campari.

If you don’t have an Averna at home and can’t find it in stores, you can replace it with a similar Amaro. Ramazzotti and Amaro Meletti are great alternatives to Amaro Averna. However, if you don’t have either, there are more options. Here you can find the best alternatives to Averna.

Equipment needed for Black manhattan recipe:

  • 1 Jig
  • 1 mixed glass
  • 1 bar spoon
  • 1 Hawthorne filter

Ingredient list

  • 2 ounces rye whisky
  • 1 ounce Amaro Avena
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitterness
  • 1 dash of orange cocktail bitters
  • 1-2 maraschino cherries


  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with plenty of ice.
  • Stir the cocktail until it cools.
  • Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with maraschino cherries.

Which Cocktail in Black Manhattan is Bitter?

The traditional recipe uses common Angostura aromatic bitters to add depth to the cocktail. In the Black Manhattan variation, Amaro Averna adds another layer of complexity, which is perfectly rounded with the help of the orange cocktail bitters.

For orange cocktail bitters, there are some excellent options. I recommend Angostura Orange Bitter or Regan Orange Bitter No.6. Both are of excellent quality and bring a delicate fruity orange flavor to the drink.

Another way to make


  • 2 ounces rye whisky
  • 1 ounce Avina Amaro
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitterness
  • 1 dash of orange bitters (like Reagan’s)
  • Garnish: Brandy Cherry


  • Add Rye Whiskey, Averna, Angostura Bitters and Orange Bitters to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well cooled.
  • Strain into a chilled glass.
  • Garnish with brandy cherries.

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