I covered the Manhattan in a previous post. It’s a drink with complex flavors, but a simple construction. And that three-ingredient build makes it really easy to play with. The Fancy Free is a simple Manhattan variation I’ve also covered.
One I haven’t written about is the Black Manhattan, which replaces the Sweet Vermouth with Averna. Averna is a sweet amaro with a bitter finish. It’s not exactly the most bitter amaro out there, but the Black Manhattan is a solid drink and suggests there’s some room for bitterness to play in a Manhattan variation.
I wanted to play with that. And as long as I’m playing with bitterness, I might as well go all out. I remembered the words of Erik Kozlik - “Fernet is an asshole.”
We Made Love Like a Pair of Black Wizards
1.5 oz Tequila anejo
.5 oz Bloomery Sweetshine black walnut liqueur
1 bsp Fernet branca
2 dashes Embitterment Chocolate bitters
Stir and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
I needed something to balance the Fernet, and I’m partial to Bloomery’s Sweetshine Black Walnut Liqueur. Bloomery actually stopped producing liqueurs recently because of some quirks in West Virginia’s liquor laws that made it difficult to turn a profit. If you find bottles of this anywhere, let me know.
I used tequila añejo as the base to give the drink backbone and topped it with Embitterment chocolate bitters to really bring out the chocolate notes that were already coming through with the black walnut and Fernet.
The result is a simple, luxurious blend of chocolate, mint, and black walnut made possible by local ingredients.
Which I named after a lyric I’ve had stuck in my head for the last few days. Because why not?