The Evolving Manhattan Cocktail
With Luxardo Ice Sphere
As time passes and the Luxardo ice sphere melts slowly into the Manhattan cocktail, the original drink morphs into another, namely the Brooklyn.
One of the five drinks named for the New York City boroughs, the Brooklyn is much lesser known than its neighbor from across the East River, the Manhattan. The distinguishing ingredient in the Brooklyn is Luxardo Maraschino, a liqueur distilled from the leaves, pits, stems and skins of sour marasca cherries. It is not overly sweet with an almond-like, subtly bitter complex cherry flavor.
The first sips of this Knob Creek Manhattan are delightfully fierce and quite boozy with rich, woody, caramel Kentucky bourbon flavors only slightly tempered by the fruit and spice attributes of French red vermouth. The Maurin Rouge tastes of ripe cherries and raisins with spice notes of cinnamon, cardamom and clove. A couple dashes of Trinidad’s Angostura Bitters, add a distinctive herbal flavor and a layer of complexity.
When sipped slowly, over time another cocktail all together will unfold. One that is less intense, as the ice has melted, flooding the bourbon with the distinct flavor of Luxardo Maraschino and a hint of orange bitters.
The Manhattan has mellowed while the characteristics of the Brooklyn have emerged. Now is the time to nibble on those authentic luxurious Italian cherries. Dark, dense, chewy, and sweet-tart, they’re surprisingly worth the $20 for an 8 oz. jar.
How to Make the Evolving Manhattan Cocktail
Luxardo Ice Spheres
Make a day ahead.
- 1/4 c. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 3/4 c. filtered water
- 3 dashes orange bitters
Use a liquid measuring 8 oz. cup. Add the 3 ingredients in order. Stir with a spoon. Pour into ice sphere mold. Freeze overnight. Makes 2 spheres.
Evolving Manhattan Cocktail
- 2 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Maurin Red Vermouth
- 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 wide slice of Orange Peel
- 3 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
For a single cocktail – place bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Stir until well chilled.
Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with the orange peel. Place frozen luxardo ice sphere in the glass.
Strain bourbon mixture over ice sphere.
Garnish with orange peel and Luxardo maraschino cherries on a pick. These luxe cherries deserve to be served “on a pick,” not unceremoniously tossed into the bottom of the glass…
(My recipe evolved from experimentation and reading about the Luxardo ice sphere at Swift’s Attic in Austin and from a friend sharing her enthusiasm for a similar cocktail at a local restaurant called Bettolino’s in Redondo Beach).
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