On the cusp of spring, a throwback to winter …

Here's an interesting variation on the Manhattan concocted by my friend Kim Totzke, well-known Nashville food and drink maven, currently whipping up the good stuff at Turnip Truck. She named it for her grandmother, who must have been quite a gal.

 The Manhattan, as we all know, is the quintessential wintertime drink. Bold, heavy, intense, and strong. A little furnace in a glass.

The Mildred, being based on rye, is certainly similar, but instead of sweet vermouth it uses amaro. And instead of Angostura we have cherry bitters. 

The result is a little sweeter, and a little lighter, making it a nice transition/springtime cocktail. But it also has a breathtaking punch at first sip that's really extraordinary. And sometimes I squeeze in a touch of lime to balance the sweetness. 

Have a sip of one of these delights and you'll raise the glass to Kim and Grandma Mildred.


  • Two parts rye
  • One part amaro
  • A dash of cherry bitters

Combine the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. For those who wish to garnish, a lime wheel is just lovely.