Black and Red Cocktail

Bushmills Irish Whiskey's Black and Red Cocktail
Bill Boch/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving

Switch your whiskey out for the Irish variety and you've transformed your Manhattan into a black and red. This is a simple Black Bush cocktail that makes very good use of the upgrade from Bushmills "Original" Irish Whiskey.

Black Bush is a sweeter Irish whiskey because it has a higher concentration of malt and is aged in former Oloroso sherry casks. It pairs very well with the sweet vermouth (the "red") in this recipe.

Enjoy this drink for happy hour when you want a nice, relaxing sipper. It also makes an enjoyable dinner cocktail, whether as an aperitif or during the meal. If you are planning an Irish dinner menu, it's a perfect choice.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour the whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

  3. Stir well.

  4. Strain into an old-fashioned glass and garnish with a cherry.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • The bitters are undefined in this recipe, so it's open to interpretation. Angostura Aromatic Bitters are a natural choice for any Manhattan. You'll also find that Regans Orange Bitters No. 6 adds an interesting citrus note that's enjoyable as well.
  • For the cherry, try to avoid the neon red maraschinos that are so common. They're actually bleached and dyed that color, so they're as far away from "natural" as a cherry can get. It may only be a garnish, but it can ruin an otherwise perfect cocktail.
  • Instead, look for real maraschinos soaking in maraschino liqueur or brandy, make your own maraschinos, or switch to an orange twist garnish.

Recipe Variations

  • As with any Manhattan-inspired cocktail, adjust the whiskey to vermouth ratio to suit your taste. You might enjoy a little more sweet vermouth or just a hint of it.
  • Serve this drink on the rocks if you prefer. Typically, a whiskey drink such as this is best with a single large piece of ice (e.g., an ice ball). These tend to dilute very slowly and will let you enjoy the full taste of the cocktail in a slightly chilled form.
  • You can also make the black and red a "perfect" drink. Simply split the sweet vermouth in half and make up the difference with dry vermouth.

How Strong Is a Black and Red Cocktail?

Cocktails in the martini family are rarely light drinks. In fact, they're some of the most potent you can mix up. This one follows suit and will have an alcohol content of 29 percent ABV (58 proof). Drinking two in succession can easily outweigh a straight shot of whiskey.