This recipe is a seasonally appropriate play on the classic Manhattan. If you’re thinking, “YUCK! I can’t stand Manhattans,” stop. This recipe tastes nothing like the original. Traditionally, a Manhattan consists of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. It’s delicious and classic. But if a traditional Manhattan is a cup of black coffee, this is a venti caramel macchiato with whip cream and extra caramel, please.
A healthy dose of smoky bourbon is mellowed by the dried fruit and caramel flavors of tawny port. Apple cider reduced to a syrup provides additional sweetness, apple-fruitiness, and (believe it or not) acidity to balance all of the caramel sweetness. Several dashes of Angostura bitters add a spice note; clove, allspice, nutmeg, and maybe some anise? This is definitely one of those drinks that will sneak up on you, though. Despite having quite a bit of alcohol in it, it tastes more like a caramel apple dessert. Watch out!
Kick back this weekend and enjoy this cooler fall weather with a drink that is sure to remind your taste buds of all the great flavors that this season has to offer. And make this Apple Cider Syrup! I am sure you can find many uses for it and we will be sharing a few more over the coming weeks.
- 2 ½ oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. tawny port
- 1 ½ oz. apple cider syrup (see recipe here)
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker that has been filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass (in the pictures I have swirled caramel around the glass and garnished it with a thin slice of apple).