Restaurant: Ai Fiori, Manhattan
Creator: Michael Longshore
Inspiration: “To create a richer, bourbon-based cousin of the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.”
Key Ingredients: Old Forester Bourbon, rainwater Madeira, Ramazzotti Amaro, Tahitian vanilla syrup and Regan’s orange bitters.
What the Judges Said: We’ve been long-time fans of the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, and many attempts to mess with their original formulas often fall flat. Not this one. How Longshore came up with the idea of using Rainwater Madeira is beyond us, but the addition of this light and dry pale-colored wine is a revelation, as is the addition of the bitter-orange flavor of the amaro. Sometimes you can mess with a good thing and make it better, and Longshore nails it here.