Modern Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Consider this an extremist's Manhattan. Using strongly flavored components like chocolate mole bitters and cask-strength whiskey, the cocktail seems like it might teeter out of balance, but magically, it does not. Instead, the heavy-hitting ingredients come together for a bold and delicious take on the classic.

Adapted from Marshall Altier, Jbird, New York City

Modern Manhattan
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Make this Modern Manhattan cocktail from Marshall Altier at Jbird in New York City.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cocktail (and 2 cups cured cherries)
Total time: 20 minutes
  • Cured cherries
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole fresh cherries, pitted
  • Cocktail
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces high-proof rye whiskey (such as Rittenhouse bonded)
  • 1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
  • 1 barspoon Oloroso sherry
  • 6 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
  • 1 cured cherry (or a maraschino cherry)
  1. Make the cured cherries: In a saucepan set over medium heat, combine the bourbon, Maraschino liqueur and brown sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally, then add the cherries. Cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 weeks (the cherries get stronger over time).
  2. Make the cocktail: Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Add the whiskey, vermouth, sherry and bitters. Stir well to chill, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cured cherry and serve.
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