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The Black Manhattan is a favoured cocktail in this household, for good reason. As one who’d never turn down the chance to enjoy a respectable rye whiskey (something that’s latterly become far easier in the UK) this Manhattan variant is all the excuse I need, marrying well with Averna‘s dark sugar aromatics. Anyhow, this post is meant to be about rum, so I’ll move on. There’s a through line here, I promise you.

Having been impressed with the La Hechicera as a drink in its own right, my mind naturally turned to good uses for it in cocktails. Slightly quailing at the prospect of losing it in amongst the exuberance of a Nuclear Hurricane or Zombie (having said that, I should do a comparison. You know, for Research Purposes) it occurred to me that I might be better off looking to sub it in for another brown spirit. Hence the preamble about the delightful Black Manhattan.

Working with the basic proportions came out rather well, the toffee notes allying well between the Averna and the La Hechicera, with a little brightness from orange bitters. The only downside would be that the two parts are a little too close, overlapping rather than complimenting.

Switching out the Averna for Cynar was, to my mind, an improvement, though losing the first amaro’s sweetness required a little extra sugar to be added, which I did with a slurp more syrup from the Maraschino cherries. It was still a bit unbalanced, so I fiddled the proportions a bit and was better pleased. The Cynar now accents the Hechicera, with the artichoke notes complementing the coffee and wood of the rum and a little bitterness mingling with the finish.

  • 50ml La Hechicera
  • 15ml Cynar
  • 2 shakes Angostura Orange Bitters
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry, plus teaspoon syrup from jar

Stir the rum, Cynar, bitters and syrup over ice (don’t be afraid of some dilution along with the chilling), then strain into a chilled coupe with the cherry awaiting at the bottom.

In something of a running theme, I can’t think what to call it, so any suggestions welcome.

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