The Last Word: Chili Chocolate Manhattan

Ryan Johnson’s Chili Chocolate Manhattan. Supplied photo

Warming up a classic

John Keats’ “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is upon us, bringing with it dark, cold, rainy weather—and a craving for sophisticated cocktails that are both warming and comforting. Just like this one.

“Nibbling dark chocolate and sipping on a fruit-forward, spicy whisky is one of my most favourite things to do when fall settles into winter,” says Ryan Johnson, the bar manager at Tuc Craft Kitchen. To capture that feeling in a cocktail, he combined the rich spice of Odd Society’s Prospector Rye with the chili- and ginger-spiked Ancho Reyes liqueur and a rounded bittersweet note from the Cynar amaro. As Johnson says, “Time to get cosy.”

• Rinse of Mezcal
• 2 oz Odd Society Prospector Rye
• 0.5 oz Ancho Reyes Chili liqueur
• 0.5 oz Cynar amaro
• 2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Molé bitters

Chill a coupe glass and give it a quick rinse with mezcal. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into the coupe. Garnish with an orange twist. Serves 1.

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