Mixology Monday

The Perfect Black Manhattan

This month’s Mixology Monday theme is all about splitting. No, we’re not talking about the all-or-nothing line of thinking my mother is famous for. We’re talking about symmetry in the glass. The spirit version of yin and yang. A strike of balance.

This month’s host is none other than Joel of the always dapper Southern Ash blog, and his theme really brought me back to modern interpretations of classic cocktails. I initially attempted to bring symmetry  to a Boulevardier by splitting it in a bunch of different ways, and the outcome was something I never want to drink again.

Then one of my favorite fall cocktails came to mind. The Black Manhattan. I first wrote about this cocktail last fall, when I had tried it at Hibiscus here in Dallas. Their version, made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, was absolutely fantastic. It was the one cocktail that patrons would ask for the recipe over and over again.

Sometimes I use only bourbon, and other times I use only rye. I decided to split them down the middle this month, and I loved the result. While rye’s spiciness really shined through, the bourbon left just the perfect amount of sweetness to keep me coming back for more.

Black Manhattan-2

The Perfect Black Manhattan


  • 1 ounce Bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce Rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce Averna
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters


Combine ingredients in a steel cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Stir mixture until exterior of the shaker is very cold, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. The drink is properly stirred when the exterior develops frost and is cold to the touch. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an Italian amarena cherry (splurge for these, they’re expensive but there is no substitute for them). Enjoy.


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