Chapter Two: Stocking a Cabin Bar
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Italian Manhattan

italian manhattan3

The classic Manhattan cocktail is built with 2 oz of Rye Whiskey, an ounce of sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters. This twist on the classic substitutes Nocino–an inky black liqueur made from green walnuts–for both the vermouth and the bitters. Nocino is pleasantly tannic with a syrupy texture, sweet and brooding like molasses with a very subtle lemon-tang. It handily supplies complexity with balance.

The Italian Manhattan is a cocktail best sipped on a shady porch wearing white shoes and white pants.


Measure 2 oz rye whiskey and 3/4 oz Nocino into a cocktail shaker.

Add ice and shake vigorously for 7 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and drop in one Luxardo cherry and a little of the accompanying syrup.


Nocino is best made at home if there’s an English walnut tree in the neighborhood. A recipe may be found here, and a once-a-year class in June here. Or if patience is not possible, Nocino may be bought here.

An Italian Manhattan; a shady porch. Photo by Seth Joel.

An Italian Manhattan; a shady porch. Photo by Seth Joel.


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