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Manhattan & Sazerac Riff: Midnight on the Bayou

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Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Heather Wibbels

cocktail in a coupe glass with candied ginger garnish and star anise.

Combining the flavors of a Sazerac and a Manhattan

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Sazeracs and Black Manhattans are two of my favorite whiskey cocktails. In this iteration, the dark color of maple syrup goes so well with whiskies as they are darker spirits, and a barrel-aged syrup lends color and notes of the barrel to any cocktail and especially this Manhattan.

I love a great Black Manhattan, and in this case, with the maple and Foro amaro, I felt like the licorice taste of Herbsaint added some floral notes to the heavier chocolate and coffee overtones from the amaro. Together, you get a cocktail that sits between a Sazerac (which originated in New Orleans – thus the reference to the Bayou) and a Black Manhattan. So I decided to call it Midnight on the Bayou as a reference to both. What I love about this one is that you get the licorice up front on the start of the sip, but after a sip or two, the chocolate and coffee notes from the amaro start to shine through and really make it a well-rounded cocktail.

This is one of those cocktails that changes on your palate as you drink it. It starts out with strong flavors of anise from the Herbsaint, but as the cocktail warms a tad and your palate acclimates, you get more and more chocolate and coffee dancing around with the rye whiskey. It’s also a cocktail that could easily set you back for the night if you have a few. Be careful, but enjoy every sip of it.

Other Old Fashioned Cocktails to Try

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:

dark cocktail in a coupe glass in front of a bottle of maple syrup

Midnight on the Bayou

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
A classy combination of the flavors from a Manhattan and a Sazerac whiskey cocktails.
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Course Drinks
Servings 1


  • 0.25 oz Watson’s maple syrup
  • 2 oz Rye whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Foro Amaro
  • 0.25 oz Herbsaint a licorice-flavored liqueur
  • Garnish: star anise and/or candied ginger


  • Add cocktail ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass and garnish with the star anise and candied ginger.
Keyword Cocktail, manhattan, sazerac
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By on February 20th, 2020
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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