Earlier this month, my girlfriend, T. Rebel, and I invaded the People’s Republik of Boulder for a quick getaway between hunting seasons. While she is understanding of the demands of my job, she also, like me, needs an escape now and then for some good food and culture—both of which Colorado’s hippiest city has in abundance. We had several great meals there, including a dinner at Blackbelly Market, a restaurant helmed by Chef Hosea Rosenberg, winner of season five of Top Chef.
I have to say, all of the service we experienced in Boulder was top notch, and our waiter at Blackbelly was no different. After I gulped my first drink—a rye-and-beer concoction off the cocktail menu—he suggested something a little more my style. “You like rye, correct,” he asked. Check. “And something bitter?” You got it. “I have just the thing.”
The thing he came back with was a Black Manhattan—a dark, herbal take on the classic cocktail that subs in Averna, an Italian amaro, for the more standard sweet vermouth. If you like thick, medicinal flavors, an amaro might be right up your alley. I go through a fair bit of Fernet Branca at home, sipped as an occasional digestif following a particularly good dinner. After my dinner at Blackbelly, I may have to add a bottle of Averna as well.
2 oz. rye
1 oz. Averna (or other amaro)
Dash Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry garnish
Pour the rye, Averna, and bitters over ice in a cocktail mixer. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a low ball or coupe glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry.