Little Italy4

Little Italy

* 2 ounces rye whiskey
* 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
* 1/2 ounce Cynar
* Maraschino cherry
* Orange zest

Combine liquid ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry, then flame a wide strip of orange zest over the top.

I was introduced to the Little Italy at Seattle’s Knee High Stocking Co. when I asked the bartender for something strong, made with whiskey, and with a bitter edge. The Little Italy delivered. Take your standard Manhattan, reduce the vermouth a bit and substitute half an ounce of Cynar for the bitters, and this is what you get. The flavor is familiar, but with an unusually herbal, bitter aspect that comes as a surprise. I added the flamed orange zest at the recommendation of Keith Waldbauer of Vessel, also in Seattle, and it finishes the drink off nicely.

Comments 4 Comments So Far

Louise | nakedsushi.net

Yay the Little Italy! It’s one of my favorite Manhattan variations. I was also introduced to it at another bar — Tar Pit — and immediately fell in love with it and more specifically, Cynar. It’s such a great liquor because even though it’s syrupy and sweet, the bitter finish makes it bearable — for me at least.

Kenn | kennwilson.com

I haven’t done a lot with Cynar yet but I’ve got a couple recipes on the list. It’s definitely one of the more interesting amari.

Tar Pit is high on my list for my next trip to LA. Shame about Audrey Saunders leaving, but I may make it to Pegu Club tonight which will help make up for it.

Frederic | cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

My introduction to the Little Italy was at Eastern Standard a few years ago. They made up 4 cordial sized glasses as a nightcap (two for us and two for them), and it was the best introduction to Cynar possible. We ran out and got a bottle right after that.