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Black Manhattan Recipe/Review

Overall Score: 9.4 The Black Manhattan is superior to the original Manhattan in every way; the Amaro liqueur gives this cocktail an excellent, herbal finish. If you enjoy whiskey, add this to your cocktail lineup.


  • 2.0 ounces of rye whiskey
  • 1.0 ounces of Averna Amaro
  • 1-2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Optional (but encouraged)
    • 1-2 dashes of orange bitters

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  • Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds
  • Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube
    • Most recipes recommend straining into a coupe glass with no ice, but that’s why you’re on this site because most people suck.

Palate Adjustments

Our original recipe is recommended based on our palate. We view our recipe as balanced. Palates vary widely, which is why we recommend crafting multiple variations of the same cocktail to find your preference. This guide will also assist you if you’re ordering at bar to provide specific instructions.

  • Spirt Forward: Reduce Amaro to 0.75 ounces.
  • Higher Proof: Use a rye whiskey with 110 proof or greater.
  • Limit Bitterness: Eliminate use of bitters. This will also reduce the flavors in the cocktail (not recommended).
  • Adjust Flavors: Consider use of chocolate bitters in place of orange. You may also consider adding a dash of Peychaud bitters to the original recipe.
  • Garnish: Express orange peel over drink and add to glass (highly recommended). Alternatively (or additionally), add a Luxardo cherry.

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Degenerate Review

Overall Score: 9.4

A Black Manhattan is the cocktail whiskey drinkers are missing out on. Few are familiar with Amaro liqueur and the impact it has on this tasty concoction. Consumers tend to be more familiar with the original Manhattan, which is sad since it sucks more than Dewey’s vacuum cleaner in Scary Movie. Manhattan’s are often the reason drinkers don’t venture past an Old Fashioned. They make you feel like tucking your dick when served in a martini or coupe glass with shitty Vermouth. Don’t get us wrong, there are good ones, but it’s a needle in a haystack.

The Black Manhattan is among the greatest whiskey cocktails ever created. The recipe is extremely simple, and the outcome is one that consistently impresses. Averna Amaro is an Italian liqueur with dense, herbal and floral flavors that do some dope shit when paired with whiskey. Herbal/floral aren’t words Degenerates typically use, but trust us, this cocktail will have you requesting a fourth round (much more Degenerate-like).

Whiskey is still the star of the show. While Amaro has strong tasting notes, whiskey is clearly present on the palate given the parts of the recipe (67% whiskey). Rye whiskey is required in this recipe to counterbalance the Amaro, so we highly recommend not substituting a bourbon (but also fucks us, do whatever you want). We suggest the addition of Peychaud & orange bitters for added flavor, along with two dashes of angostura but encourage you to consider the palate adjustments to find your desired mix. The expressed orange peel is also clutch. You won’t be disappointed with this cocktail, but we admit, it may take a few rounds to acquire the Amaro flavors. Cheers Degenerates!


You can find the Black Manhattan on the following Degenerate listings:

  • Classic Cocktail Reviews
  • Whiskey Cocktail Reviews

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