I think my love for bourbon has been well documented here, but it’s always nice to have a reminder every now and then. Right? Right! A couple of years ago I made a Maple Manhattan as part of my Thanksgiving menu, a simple but nice seasonal variation on a classic cocktail. But it’s been a while, and I think it’s time for another variation on this classic with the Mahogany Manhattan. It’s a chocolate-cherry take on the Manhattan, and I think it sounds even better than the Maple Manhattan. Let’s find out!
Named the Mahogany Manhattan for its deep reddish-brown color this cherry chocolate Manhattan variation is sweet, earthy and spicy. Perfect sipping for these long winter nights.
I had a lot of shopping to do for this cocktail! I normally have bourbon and vermouth, but I was out of both. Plus I needed the Heering cherry liqueur and chocolate bitters. I literally had to buy all of the ingredients!
The cherry liqueur and chocolate bitters were a tad unusual, so I had to make a trip to Total Wine to find them. It’s really not far out of my way and worth it for those hard to find items.
They usually have everything even remotely related to cocktails, so I was surprised when they didn’t have the Luxardo cherries. I, however, had a jar of maraschino cherries in my refrigerator.
I plucked out a few cherries and soaked them in some Luxardo cherry liqueur for about a week before I planned to make my Mahogany Manhattan. The cherries are just a garnish, so this should be a big deal.
I am quite fond of stirred cocktails for get-togethers. It’s nice to watch them being prepared, and the fact that there’s no loud shaking (or worse, blending) allows you to talk to your guests.
This version might have an extra ingredient, but it’s made the same way as its namesake and ready just as quickly. Basically, add ice to a shaker (or mixing glass if you want to go for a Mad Men vibe), add the liquors, stir, and strain into a coupe glass.
Well, there is also the extra step of rubbing a bit of orange peel around the rim of the glass and garnishing it with a cherry and a twist. These might sound like they are skippable, but I strongly disagree.
The aromatic oils from the orange peel add something to the whole experience. Not to mention that the garnishes are beautiful and easy to make. Trust me, it’s worth an extra minute to add them, so break out the channel knife and cocktail picks!