Traditional recipes

Italian Manhattan

Italian Manhattan

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  • 1/2 cup amaro liqueur (such as Amaro Montenegro)
  • 8 teaspoons orange blossom honey
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in pitcher; stir to blend. Mix in ice cubes. Divide mixture (including ice) among 8 rocks glasses.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 181.7 % Calories from Fat 0.0 Fat (g) 0.0 Saturated Fat (g) 0.0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 12.2 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.0 Total Sugars (g) 11.1 Net Carbs (g) 12.1 Protein (g) 0.1 Sodium (mg) 1.6Reviews Section

An Italian in Manhattan from Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party (page 17) by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali

Are you sure you want to delete this recipe from your Bookshelf? Doing so will remove all the Bookmarks you have created for this recipe.

Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.

Manhattan Ingredients

The best Manhattan cocktails are thoughtfully crafted with four simple ingredients that complement each other. You’ll find my preferred ingredients in the recipe below. Don’t forget ice, for stirring!

1) Rye or Bourbon

Rye and bourbon are both types of whiskey, with different compositions. Rye has more spice to it, while bourbon is a little more mellow and sweet. Most bartenders opt for rye, but choose according to your taste buds. Keep in mind that vermouth will temper the fire a bit.

I used Bulleit rye for these cocktails. It’s always a solid choice, and I was so pleased with the results!

2) Sweet Vermouth

Vermouth is wine that is “fortified” (made stronger than usual, with the help of some brandy) and “aromatized” (meaning it’s infused with herbs and spices). Vermouths are sweetened, too.

For a classic Manhattan, we want to use “sweet” vermouth, which actually isn’t all that sweet. Sweet vermouths are dark red or brown, not clear. My favorite options are Dolin and Carpano Antica. Dolin is the softer and smoother of the two, which is not to say that it’s boring. It’s also less expensive.

Vermouth storage tip: Vermouth is wine, so it will go bad with time like all wines do (but will keep longer than a regular bottle, thanks to the brandy). Opened bottles of vermouth will keep well in the refrigerator for somewhere between one month to two months.

Wondering how to use up your vermouth before it loses its flavor? Do as the Europeans do, and enjoy vermouth over ice as an apéritif. It’s especially nice with an orange twist.

3) Bitters

Angostura bitters are classic and easy to find, and you really can’t go wrong with them. Bitters, like, vermouth, are infused with proprietary herbs and spices. They’re highly concentrated, though—just a couple of dashes add tons of complex flavor.

4) A Cocktail Cherry, For Garnish

If you’re serious about your Manhattans, go ahead and splurge on great cherries. I love Luxardo cherries. They’re far superior to other maraschino cherries and last a long time in the fridge. You can find Luxardo cherries at well-stocked liquor stores and on Amazon (affiliate link).

Tip: If you want your Manhattan to be on the sweeter side, add a tiny bit of the sweetened cherry liquid from the jar to your mixing glass.

Emilio's Ballato Instagram

Back in the 70&rsquos during the days of the &lsquoBowery Bums&rdquo you would be granted access to this &ldquounder the radar&rdquo destination by knocking on the front door. If known to the staff as they peered through the chain locking the door, you would be allowed inside.

Today, weather permitting, you&rsquoll find the front door open and Emilio sitting at his favorite table in the front of the restaurant. Emilio is always on hand greeting customers and his many friends stopping by throughout the day.

Food & History in NYC

Emilio comes from a family of 10 and his mother was originally from Naples. The family lived in the town of Serno in the Campania region of Southern Italy. This area of Italy is also where Vesuvio Tomatoes originated. Emilio credits his great taste and cooking skills to his mother, as well as to working with a number of exceptional chefs throughout his career.

Emilio has been cooking since he was nine years old. After moving to Astoria, Queens with his family in 1968, he began working at a local German bakery, making doughnuts in a copper pot with lard. He knew and felt it right then, at that early age, that all he wanted to do was cook and to eventually own his own restaurant.

After leaving the German bakery in 1973, he began working at Ferrara&rsquos on Grand Street in Little Italy and stayed there until 1989. He had to have his school sign papers allowing him to work at Ferrara&rsquos. There is a photo of a young 15 year old Emilio making Cannolis at Ferrara&rsquos above his favorite front corner table at Ballato.

He was a private chef for a couple of years and then was made aware of the opportunity to purchase Ballato from then-owner Sal Anthony in 1991. Mr. Anthony had purchased the restaurant from original owner John Ballato and the restaurant lost some of its luster during his tenure there. Emilio took on a partner, bought Ballato and has discreetly continued his love of cooking to this day.

Simple Italian Recipes = Delicious Cuisine

He prefers simple recipes such as Spaghetti al Pomodoro (Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and basil) and Linguine alle vongole (Linguine with Clam Sauce). Lenny Kravitz prefers the Rigatoni con zucchini (pasta with zucchini and tomato sauce).

Celebrity Guests at Emilio's Ballato NYC

Famous guests of Ballato include several Presidents, ranging from Kennedy to Obama. Rock and rollers as well as celebs also regularly dine here, including his good friends Lenny Kravitz, Denzel Washington and Billy Joel. Paul McCartney had dined at the restaurant the night before I paid this particular visit! Emilio was also very close to David Bowie, who lived nearby and ate at this restaurant regularly.

There are many photos in the dining room commemorating visits from the rich and famous, but what makes it special is that everyone is welcome at this NYC dining destination! Every meal I&rsquove had here far exceeds expectations and it's hard to believe this place has stayed under the radar for so many years.

Love, Dedication and Inspiration

Emilio has these words for those inspired to own their own restaurant or any successful business:

&ldquoLove what you&rsquore doing and never give up before the miracle happens. Never give up!&rdquo

One of Emilio&rsquos miracles came in the form of a sensational and unsolicited review from the New York Times in October of 2011, which recognized how special this eatery really is.

You absolutely must experience Emilio&rsquos Ballato! It&rsquos like an old shoe&hellip The older it gets the better it is! No reservations are accepted, but venture down to E. Houston St. for a night you won&rsquot soon forget.

As Emilio pointed out before I left, &ldquoYou can serve the best food in the worst neighborhood and people will come regardless. You can serve bad food in the best location and your dining room will be empty!&rdquo

Emilio&rsquos Ballato
55 E. Houston St.
(between Mott & Mulberry Sts)

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Giada is a chef, mother, author and restauranteur. She is known as the Emmy-award winning television personality of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada In Italy, as a judge on Food Network Star, NBC Today Show correspondent, for her eight New York Times best-selling cookbooks and her debut restaurant, GIADA, in Las Vegas. Though most days, you can find her in Los Angeles with her daughter, Jade and kitten, Bella, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen involving parmiggiano reggiano or her weakness, dark chocolate!

One sophisticated cocktail, coming right up. I put my own personal spin on a classic Manhattan with some of my favorite Italian flavors – artichoke, fennel and citrus! This cocktail traditionally would use bitters along with the vermouth and whiskey, but I gave it an Italian spin with Amaro liqueur – specifically, Cynar, which is made from artichokes. I find that Amaro liqueurs have a very complex flavor that can really rival conventional bitters, and in this case, it adds a ton of flavor. Cin cin!

Italian Fish Chowder

Years ago, my husband Jack lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts – a coastal city located north of Boston and famous for its thriving fishing industry, as well as a popular summer destination for tourists. During that time, Jack often ate at a restaurant called Halibut Point Restaurant & Bar, named after its proximity to Halibut Point State Park – a granite quarry with breathtaking views that overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

Halibut Point, the restaurant, was a casual, local hangout and the perfect place to enjoy some great outdoor dining with friends. On the menu was the most delicious Italian Fish Chowder that Jack absolutely fell in love with – so much so that his usual meal was a cup of this fantastic chowder along with fried calamari and hot peppers.

Jack, to this day, still dreams about that Italian fish chowder (Gloucester is about a two hour drive from where we live now, so unfortunately, we don’t get up there very often!) and he recently set out to recreate it at home. It’s a super delicious chowder with a spicy (but not too spicy) tomato base flavored with onions, peppers and celery plus tender chunks of halibut (or cod) and potatoes.

Served with some warm, crusty bread, this Italian fish chowder is a taste of coastal New England in a bowl! I can totally understand why Jack loves it so much – and we’re sure you will love it too!

Invented in the 1860’s by a bartender named Black at a bar in New York, on Broadway near Houston Street. The original “Manhattan” dated back to the 1920’s, was a mix of American whiskey, Italian vermouth, and angostura bitters.

Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions, or click the Jump To Recipe button at the top.

  • Bourbon
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Bitters – Angostura bitters work best. You can use a combination of cherry and orange bitters as well but it won’t be a “classic” manhattan.
  • Orange Peel
  • Maraschino Cherries – You can also amplify your Manhattan by using bourbon cherries, which is what we used.

The Whiskey to Vermouth Ratio

The Manhattan is much like the martini in that it requires a base spirit (whiskey or gin) with vermouth. The martini uses dry vermouth while the Manhattan uses sweet vermouth. This sweeter fortified wine works best with the majority of whiskeys. Yet, if you find the right whiskey, dry vermouth can be used to make a great drink as well. Bourbon is a great place to begin for your dry Manhattan experience.

Like the martini, each drinker will have their preferred ratio of whiskey to vermouth. The 2:1 in the recipe above is a good starting point and the most common mix for the Manhattan. Many drinkers also prefer a 4:1 mix with just 1/2 ounce of sweet vermouth for 2 ounces of whiskey. Play around with this ratio to find your personal idea of the perfect Manhattan. It's also likely that this will change depending on the particular whiskey you're pouring.

These 5 recipes from Chef Lidia's flagship restaurant will bring the flavors of Italy into your home

By Joseph Neese
Published August 15, 2020 4:30PM (EDT)

Chef Lidia Bastianich (Courtesy Meredith Nierman)


For her latest cookbook, James Beard winner Lidia Bastianich decided to revisit her roots. In "Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant," the chef shared the dishes that shot her to fame on the American culinary scene for the very first time.

"We opened Felidia in 1981, and that's where I became a young chef. I started there," Chef Lidia recalled in an interview with Salon TV earlier this year. "Even though we had restaurants before, I was not the chef."

Nearly four decades have passed since the iconic Italian restaurant from Manhattan's tony Upper East Side neighborhood first opened its doors. To put Chef Lidia's unparalleled success into perspective, a majority of restaurants in the country's most competitive food scene close within five years.

Chef Lidia shared five recipes from her beautiful cookbook with Salon Food. From a frozen peach bellini, to ragù alla bolognese to tiramisù, each of these recipes will bring the flavors of Italy into the comfort of your own home. If you can't take a vacation, it's time to make one.

An Adjustable Size Whisk:

One recipe that has been a part of Felidia since its inception is Chef Lidia's pasta primavera, which she calls "a great restaurant dish." Executive Chef Fortunato Nicotra continues the tradition in 2020.

"Primavera. First of all, it means spring. So one would think of all the spring elements, which is the peas, and the string beans, and the zucchini and the zucchini flowers," Chef Lidia told Salon as she explained how the dish is traditionally prepared. "So you choose whatever the fruit of the spring was. We call them the primizia — the 'first fruits.'"

The kid-friendly recipe won the hearts of her two children. As Chef Lidia writes in her new book, "It's a favorite of Tanya and Joe, who grew up at Felidia and spent many hours there doing homework and having meals with family and friends while I was busy working in the kitchen or greeting clients."

What makes this pasta a crowd-pleaser? A little bit of garlic and oil, butter and grated grana padano cheese.

"It's one way of getting the kids to eat some vegetables, because if you sauté the vegetables enough — and with onions — they become sweet," Chef Lidia told Salon. "And then, of course, the pasta is the carrier of it all. And you can make it in small pieces so that children will eat it."

When Chef Lidia appeared on "Salon Talks," she also revealed the secret to elevating bolognese sauce at home:

Bolognese is a sauce of two or three different kinds of ground meat. And usually it's the muscles — the tough part. And it's one way of really tenderizing it, and making it delicious and then dressing a lot of pasta with it.

The question of a good bolognese is the steps: the onions, the soffriggere, the little bit of carrots, little bay leaves, rosemary, cloves and so on down the line. You build the layers. And the slow cooking — two and a half hours, three hours for a good bolognese until the meat has sort of given all. And you'll have this kind of velvety sauce and these morsels of delicious meat. That used to be Sunday for us, and it was delicious.

"The peach Bellini is a classic drink that you cannot miss when in Venice. It's simply prosecco with the addition of peach purée," Chef Lidia writes in "Felidia." "This version is a twist on the original recipe: at Felidia, we use peach sorbet to make an ice-cold drink that is welcome at any time of the year."

"At Felidia, we serve several different versions of tiramisù," Lidia writes in her her cookbook. "This version, with limoncello, is a bit higher in alcohol content and is inspired by the traditional delizia al limone that is so popular along the Amalfi Coast.

"Nutella is to Italians what peanut butter is to Americans. It is incorporated into a lot of desserts such as crepes, cakes and much more. Many Italian children eat Nutella on toast in the morning before heading off to school. The chocolate-hazelnut combination is undeniably good and works really well in many desserts," Nicotra writes in the book. "Since the flavor is so pervasive in Italian sweets, it only made sense to use it in a dessert that would have typically been made with just chocolate. Lidia is not an avid fan of chocolate desserts, but I won her over with this take on flan."

Joseph Neese

Joseph Neese is the Managing Editor of Salon. You can follow him on Twitter: @josephneese.

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Watch the video: Where to Eat in NYCs Little Italy - Food Neighborhoods, Episode 1 (June 2022).