A Splash Of Dessert Wine Will Revamp Your Manhattan Cocktail Instantly

Manhattan cocktail
Manhattan cocktail - Bhofack2/Getty Images

A Manhattan is a classic cocktail for a reason -- but that doesn't mean you can't experiment with new variations. The cocktail, traditionally, consists of rye whiskey or bourbon, vermouth, Angostura bitters, and an orange peel. However, if you prefer your Manhattans on the sweeter side, it may be time to experiment with dessert wine.

The reason sweet wine works well in Manhattans is because it pairs well with vermouth, which can come dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Depending on your chosen vermouth, dessert wine can either balance out dry vermouth or expand upon the sweetness of an already sweet red vermouth.

"The production process of sweet wine involves a good amount of time in barrique, and the resulting flavor profile pairs well with the woody notes of the bourbon (or Rye) whiskey and with the complex bitter-herbaceous flavor of the sweet vermouth," Fabio Raffaelli, North America Brand Ambassador for vermouth and sparkling wine brand Martini & Rossi, told Tasting Table.

Given the sweetness of dessert wine, Raffaelli recommends using no more than 1/4 ounce of dessert wine in your next Manhattan. He suggests, specifically, 1/4 ounce of dessert wine for every 2 ounces of Angel's Envy bourbon and 3/4 ounce of Martini & Rossi's Rosso Sweet Vermouth.

Within that ratio, however, there's even more room for variation. After all, no two dessert wines are the same, so you can experiment with everything from still to sparkling sweet wines.

Read more: 13 Liquors Your Home Bar Should Have

A Splash Of Your Favorite Dessert Wine Can Complement A Manhattan's Flavors

Sweet vermouth
Sweet vermouth - Olegkov/Getty Images

Just like vermouth, sweet wine is quite the broad category, so you have more than a few options for your next Manhattan. In general, however, "any type of sweet wine can play a fun role in the world of mixology," explained Martini & Rossi's Raffaelli. However, some wines may work better than others, depending on your preferences.

"For context, sweet wines are divided into sparkling sweet (like Martini & Rossi Asti), still (for example, sweet Riesling wines) and fortified sweet wine," Rafaelli explained. If you're looking for a wine to start with, he recommends Sauterne, Barolo Chinato, Port, or Marsala. These bold, full-bodied wines are generally served after dinner, and can positively improve a cocktail's flavor, Raffaelli said.

Once you decide on your sweet wine of choice, why not experiment with other cocktail variations? After all, sweet wine pairs well with vermouth, so there's no reason it can't upgrade other, vermouth-forward drinks.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.