15 min + cooling
Rye rules — at least when you’re making a proper, classic, real Manhattan. It’s spicier and drier than bourbon, which means it fuses better with the other ingredients. But rules are meant to be broken, right? We’re grown-ups, so we’re upgrading from the regular sweet vermouth and instead pouring a nice Italian Amaro. It just feels more serious. And we didn’t stop there. Homemade brandied cherries beat those insipid jokes from the make-your-own sundae bar, because we’re not messing around.
for the brandied cherries
Bring the water, sugar and dried cherries to a simmer in a small saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the liquid becomes slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the brandy and cool. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
for the manhattan
Fill 2 martini glasses with ice and water to chill while you make the cocktails.
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in the rye, Averna and brandied cherry liquid. Stir to chill. Dump the ice and water out of the glasses. Strain and divide the Manhattan between the 2 glasses. Alternate the brandied cherries and salame slices on 2 cocktail skewers and lay across the glasses.