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Gingerbread Manhattan Adds Elegance to the Holidays

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cocktail in a martini glass with a bottle of maple syrup and amaro next to it.
Gingerbread Manhattan

Your Christmas Eve cocktail is ready! It’s a Gingerbread Manhattan courtesy of @Watson’s Barrel Aged Syrup (they generously sent me some samples to play with) and the richness of the maple syrup was an incredible asset to the mouthfeel and smoothness of the cocktail.

In this case, since I knew I wanted to pair the maple syrup with a spicy, cinnamony bourbon, Willett’s Johnnie Drum, I knew I needed to make sure to balance that out with the sharpness of the St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, one of my favorite liqueurs to add when I’m working on a cocktail with a palate close to baking.

I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet drinks and amaro is an ingredient I love to add because of the bitterness and complexity. I started with the idea of a black Manhattan and did a gingerbread twist. The gingerbread bitters I found just before Christmas Eve paired well with the tiny bit of molasses added to the drink. Between the molasses and the allspice, you have the bulk of the flavors and scents surrounding gingerbread. If you’d rather have a gingerbread old fashioned, head to the gingerbread syrup post to make this!

You can set one out for Santa if you like, or just sip on that second one while you finish last-minute preparation before gifts, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, the Solstice, or any of the hundred other winter festivals. Stay warm and Happy Holidays to you all. 

Other Holiday Cocktails to Enjoy

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

cocktail in a martini glass with a bottle of maple syrup and amaro next to it.

Gingerbread Manhattan

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Sip on this elegant take on a Manhattan to enjoy the subtle blend of flavors of allspice, maple, molasses and gingerbread.
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Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 2 oz bourbon @willettdistillery Johnnie Drum
  • 0.75 oz Foro Amaro
  • 0.5 oz Watson’s barrel-aged maple syrup
  • 0.25 oz Allspice Dram
  • 0.25 barspoon molasses
  • 8 drops gingerbread bitters
  • Garnish: dried orange slice or a piece of candied ginger


  • Combine bourbon, amaro, maple syrup, allspice dram, molasses and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a dried orange or candied ginger.
Keyword allspice, amaro, bourbon cocktail, gingerbread, maple, molasses
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on December 24th, 2019
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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