The Love of Amaro – Cherry Manhattan Cocktail
I had never heard of Stambecco before being asked to do this review. However, I am a big fan of Italian Amari, those bittersweet Italian herbal liqueurs that function as an after-dinner digestif, that allegedly help the digestion and ease your journey into the early hours. So when invited to try out Stambecco Amaro I was excited. The drink is distilled in Piedmont, Italy and comes in a stylishly retro bottle. Apparently, Stambecco is the Italian for the ibex long-horned goats which bound around the Italian Alps near where the drink is made and feature on the bottle’s label. Its wonderful flavour is fortunately not at all goaty and comes from being infused with Maraschino cherries and fresh sweet and bitter orange peel. There is also a hint of bitter almond flavour and for those of you in the know if I say it’s rather like a less sweet version of Amaretto you’ll know what I mean.
The Italians like to drink Stambecco on the rocks or mixed with coke or lemonade as a long drink after a hard day on the ski slopes, and at 35% proof, it’s definitely an après-ski drink rather than anything you’d want to imbibe pre-hurtling down a black run at a high velocity.
But here at London Unattached, the risks we take are more of a creative kind and I was tasked by our editor to create an original cocktail that featured Stambecco. Something about the design of the bottle has a louche 1930s feel about it and combined with the cherry flavouring I was drawn to the Manhattan cocktail (see our recipe here), that sultry blend of bourbon and vermouth, often served with a Maraschino cherry garnish. The Manhattan is a very flexible cocktail, I have been able to identify over 35 varieties with little effort, and so my offering to you is the Cherry Manhattan, an adult drink that is superficially sweet but with that bitter kick that fans of Negronis (is anyone not a negroni fan?) will love.
A cocktail for grownups with caramel, almond and bitter cherry notes
- 50 ml Bullit Bourbon
- 25 ml Stambecco
- 2 drops Angostura bitters
- 1 dash Orange blossom water (optional)
- 1 Maraschino cherry to garnish
Pour the bourbon, Stambecco, orange blossom water and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice.
Stir gently so as not to bruise the alcohol's feelings.
Strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with the cherry
As we are presently in what seems like the bleakest midwinter, I’d also like to share an idea to warm you up. In my view, when the weather outside is chilly nothing is better than a hot toddy. Stambecco is ideal for that worthy warming cause so here’s the recipe for a Stambecco Winter Warmer Hot Toddy.
Ingredients: 25ml Stambecco Maraschino Amaro, 25ml Bourbon, 25ml Golden Rum, 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice, 12.5ml Honey, a large pinch of salt.
To Garnish: a wedge of lemon with a STARLINO Maraschino Cherry
Make this cocktail by adding all the ingredients to a heatproof pan and heating gently until the liquid has reached boiling point. Pour into a heatproof glass and garnish with a wedge of lemon and a STARLINO Maraschino Cherry
As we toil through the tedium of winter lockdowns it’s a great time to up your cocktail game.
A bottle of Stambecco is bound to to impress your friends at Zoom cocktail hour and who can resist a Maraschino cherry!