Spiced Cherry Manhattan

by Raul Faria

The Spiced Cherry Manhattan cocktail was created for the Woodford Reserve Ultimate Manhattan Competition put on by the always amazing people at Brown Forman and hosted by the equally rocking folks at Wirtz beverage. It was a really fun competition with amazing cocktails from some of the best mixologists in Las Vegas. We had Manhattans infused with bacon, tobacco, star anise and the winning Manhattan named Perfectly Reserved, actually had a celery infused ice sphere. Really cool idea from Aria Resort and Casino’s (now Hakkasan) Mr. Tim Weigle! The Spiced Cherry Manhattan was inspired by the spice notes I find in Woodford Reserve and the idea of incorporating the cherry in a different way. This cocktail is perfect for those who like a dry Manhattan but are looking for something different. Wanna make one?

Before cocktail prep– We are going to need to prepare our Absinthe Cherries beforehand as it takes 24 hours for the cherries to get sufficiently “Absinthey”. Get a mason jar or even an small rocks glass and some plastic wrap for a container. Simply grab some cherries, cover them in Absinthe and wait for the yumminess to take hold.

1) Gotta get our tools ready! Manhattans are a stirred cocktail so we only need a few things, a mixing glass, a barspoon, a Hawthorne strainer, a jigger with a 1 oz and a .5 oz measure lastly we will need a chilled 8-10 oz coupe or cocktail glass. (if your guests wants it on the rocks just go for a 10-12 oz rocks or old fashioned glass). For the ingredients we are going to need our Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Cherry Heering liqueur, Lilet Blanc, Bitternmens Xocolatyl bitters, Kubler Absinthe and Luxardo Maraschino cherries.

2) Lets begin by adding our 2 oz of Woodford Reserve in the mixing glass.

3) Now we are gonna add the Cherry Heering using a .5 oz measure. Cherry Heering a really nice, not too sweet or artificial tasting liqueur that has been around for a few years shy of 200! Is has a real deep, lush black cherry flavor that when combined with the other elements of this cocktail give it an almost cherry pipe tobacco vibe.

4) Next up we have our Lillet Blanc. Let’s get .5 oz in our mixing glass. Lillet is an aperitif made from mostly wine with citrus peel and chinchona (quinine) liqueurs. Lillet is fun to swap out for your favorite dry vermouth in a Martini or in our case today the Manhattan.

5) Manhattans always have bitters. If they don’t? Then they made it wrong. We are going to add Bittermens Xocolatyl ( shoko-lah-til ) bitters instead of the traditional Angostura bitters. Lets put 4-5 drops in. This turns up the volume on those spice notes in our Woodford. There is also a Fee Bros Chocolate bitters out there that works well with this recipe, less spice more focus on the vanilla and marshmallow notes.

6) Time to add our ice and stir. When stirring a cocktail carefully slide the spoon along the side of the glass to the bottom and continue to stir along the edges. Your goal is not not break off little chunks of the ice or overly dilute the cocktail. We want temperature. Stirring will also lead to a smooth silky texture and not the tell tale cloudiness or ice crystals resulting from a good shake.

7) Once we have our stirring done lets get our chilled glass out plop in one of our Absinthe cherries (or have it on a cocktail pick inside the glass). Slap on the hawthorne strainer to our mixing glass and strain. Enjoy!

Spiced Cherry Manhattan– 2 oz Woodford Reserve, .5 oz Cherry Heering, .5 oz Lillet Blanc, 4-5 drops of Bittermens Xocolatyl bitters, stir and strain into chilled coupe. Garnish with an absinthe soaked cherry.

For more information about the competition and all the Bar ninja’s and their recipes head over to our gracious hosts Wirtz beverage’s website http://www.wirtzbeveragegroup.com/wirtzbeveragenevada/?tag=las-vegas

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1 Comment(s)

  1. […] add our 1 oz of Lillet Blanc. I’ve used Lillet Blanc in my Spiced Cherry Manhattan and I really enjoy the silky texture and fruity, citrus notes and feel they are really […]


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