Stressing out about making a creative cocktail for your honey on Valentine's Day? For a special evening, you don't want to be fumbling around with something complicated, so impress your lady or man with an innovative twist on a classic Manhattan. The Red Rooster cocktail, which was created by mixologist Aja Sax from her days at the Drake Hotel, is red and sexy. It's not to be confused with the cranberry vodka Red Rooster. Yeah, totally different here. I found this recipe in Food & Drink magazine, and it has so many of my favorite spirits — Italian amari like Averna and Aperol, bitters, and bourbon. I opted for the smooth and mellow Four Roses' Yellow Bourbon, because roses are romantic, right? Even if you're observing Singles Awareness Day like I am, you can still stir this up for your best friends and celebrate how fabulous you all are.

The Red Rooster
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon (I used Four Roses' Yellow Bourbon)
  • 1/2 oz Averna
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 3 drop orange bitters (I used Fee Brothers' West Indian Orange Bitters)
  • 1 drop Angostura bitters
  • 1 Luxardo cherry for garnish
- In a mixing glass filled with ice, add all the ingredients and stir, stir.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with a cherry and give your honey a smooch or say cheers to your friends.