If you’re like me, you drink a lot of Manhattans. Or at least a lot of variations on the Manhattan. I mean, there’s a reason this cocktail has remained in our cultural lexicon for nearly 150 years, amirite? I’m always in search of new takes on this eternal classic, the easier the better. And they don’t get much easier than Dave Castillo’s Velvet Touch.
The concoction was brought to life recently at Dave’s Truss & Twine in Palm Springs, California and features little more than a clever variation on the sweet vermouth component in a typical Manhattan. In place of Dolin or Antica Formula, Dave uses grappa-based Amaro Nonino with a little Pedro Ximenez to create a layer of citrus, licorice, dark raisin, and a bit of chocolate, all of which pair perfectly with a healthy jigger of cocktail-proof (100 or better) rye whiskey. You don’t even need to bother with the bitters! Thank me later.
2 oz. rye whiskey
¾ oz. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
¼ oz. Pedro Ximenez sherry
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an expressed orange peel.