Black Manhattan Recipe

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
Please wait...


Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



A Black Manhattan cocktail garnished with a cherry

Is Batman a cocktail guy? We can’t say for sure, but if he was, then the Black Manhattan would definitely be his drink of choice. Much like the man himself, it’s big, dark, and boozyand packs a mean punch. It’s a simple riff on the classic Manhattan that features Averna—a fruity, herbaceous Italian bitter with an intense caramel flavour. This brooding cocktail has become a modern classic, and we’ve got the perfect Black Manhattan recipe just for you.



Chill your glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes for an extra cold Black Manhattan.


Try bourbon instead of rye whiskey for a sweeter drinking experience.


Stir for at least 30 seconds to chill but no more, or you risk diluting your cocktail too much.



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

Dash of Angostura bitters
Dash of orange bitters
Luxardo maraschino cherry to garnish



Pour the whiskey, Averna, and bitters into a cocktail shaker


Add a scoop of ice and stir for 30 seconds to chill


Strain into a chilled coupe glass


Garnish and serve immediately

History of the Black Manhattan

Unlike the original Manhattan cocktail which dates to the 1800s, the Black Manhattan recipe is a modern-day Gen Z baby. Invented in 2005 by bartender Todd Smith, the Black Manhattan is a seductive caramel riff on the classic. The Italian amaro, Averna, replaces the traditional sweet vermouth. It adds depth and even more character to this already complex cocktail. The change is a small, but the bittersweet Averna perfectly contrasts rye whiskey’s spicy character.   

You also might like: 20 Aperol Cocktail Recipes. 


The Manhattan is one of those cocktails that lends itself well to play and experimentation. There are Mexican, French, Italian, and even a winter version of the cocktail, and they’re all delicious. With so many options, we suggest you host a Manhattan cocktail party with your friends to find out which one you like best. 

You also might like: Top Picks from the International Bartender’s Association List. 

When to serve

Our best Black Manhattan recipe is a boozy yet sophisticated sipper that’s perfect for any cocktail evening, or black-tie event. They come together in a flash, and you can mix them in batches and then chill them until you’re ready to serve.

Please wait...


Manhattan’s are traditionally made with rye whiskey, but bourbon is also a favourite. Rye whiskey gives the cocktail a spicy edge, while bourbon is sweeter and smoother. Both are great and we recommend trying each version for the full Manhattan experience.

The main difference between bourbon vs. rye is the grain that is used in the production. Rye uses rye primarily, and bourbon uses corn primarily.

The Manhattan and Old Fashioned are both classic cocktails, but they have several differences. An Old Fashioned is served on ice and features bourbon, sugar syrup, bitters, and an orange peel garnish. A Manhattan features rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters and a cherry garnish, and it’s served straight up.