Proof on Main’s Darkened Manhattan

A classic Manhattan consists of bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters, shaken with ice, strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But as fans of classical music will tell you, there is also nothing wrong with variations on a theme. And one of the most delicious variations on this classic cocktail theme that I’ve tasted recently is at Proof on Main, the restaurant in Louisville’s 21C Museum Hotel.  

The Proof on Main Darkened Manhattan adds coffee liqueur to the mix, which gives the drink a refreshing chocolatey-espresso vibe. To use the technical term, it is yummy. So yummy that on a recent visit to Proof I had one before dinner, one during dinner and a third as dessert. I think my friend may have had a fourth. (No, we were not driving.)

The Darkened Manhattan is not on the printed cocktail menu, but they will know what you are talking about if you ask for it by name. 

Proof on Main Darkened Manhattan

1 ½ oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

1 oz Starbuck’s Dark Coffee Liqueur



Put scoop of ice in metal shaker tin. Pour measured amount of Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth and Starbucks Liqueur over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain contents into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

(Photo courtesy Proof on Main)

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