The Craft of Cocktails: Amor y Amargo Manhattan

In 2015, David and I traveled about the northeast coast of the US, including and especially New York City. In NYC, we explored as many speakeasies and other joints as we could reasonably cover. One of our favorites was the bitters tasting room, Amor Y Amargo (Amor Y Amargo | America’s Bitters and Amari Bar in New York City). They specialize in (surprise!) bitters and bitters-forward drinks. The bartender / mixologist / bitters-wizard the night we were there (sorry, didn’t catch a name) made an especially wonderful drink for David, which we came to think of as the Amor Y Amargo Manhattan. David translated this into a barrel-aged cocktail. He didn’t record the individual drink recipe; here’s what the ingredients are for a 2 liter barrel:


39 oz Rittenhouse Bonded in Barrel Rye

18.5 oz Punt e Mes

12.5 skinny oz Ramazotti

140 drops Peychaud’s

140 drops Angostura

The picture here shows the barrel, in which I’m aging a batch of the A y A Manhattan, and a drink drawn from that barrel.

The Manhattan basically consists of 2 ounces of rye whiskey, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. It does vary some—as you can see in A y A’s variation—but, as Robert Simonson points out in “3-Ingredient Cocktails” (Amazon, affiliate link:,

“More than most of the classic cocktails, the Manhattan’s history has been fairly steady. It didn’t wake up after Prohibition having shed its bitters or having left its vermouth in its other coat or suddenly having signed up for an unordered shipment of extra fruit. It was still just a Manhattan. And any bar could make you a decent one.”


I converted David’s barrel proportions to a 3 oz drink:


1.5 oz Rittenhouse Bonded in Barrel Rye

1 oz Punt e Mes

0.5 oz Ramazotti

6-7 drops Peychaud’s

6-7 drops Angostura

Stir with ice to chill. Add a Bada-Bing cherry. Serve.

Cheers to you, David my Love—with an extra cherry and a bit of the juice, the way you like it.


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