What makes a Manhattan Sicilian? It's not The Godfather, which is my favorite movie, a good novel, and a tasty cocktail. The answer is Averna. This Sicilian amaro replaces the sweet vermouth in a traditional Manhattan. It is the reason I simply renamed the Black Manhattan cocktail, which Todd Smith created in 2005.
2 ounces rye
1 ounce Averna
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Combine in a shaker with ice, stir, and strain into a glass as cold as Michael Corleone's glare when he finds out in the second Godfather movie that his wife did not have a miscarriage.
The Sicilian Manhattan is an easy to make and modern variation of its cocktail ancestor. Averna is more potent and complex than sweet vermouth, but it is sweet enough to balance out the inherent spiciness of rye. Acquiring Averna has become easier over time. Trying to figure out how else you can use Averna? You have a lot of options such as the Peligroso, the A Thief In The Night, and the Midnight Train.
So are you going to have a Sicilian Manhattan? It's an offer you can't refuse. Cin cin!