Winter’s upon us, and so are the holidays, and that makes me think of my favorite winter places. Chief among them is Germany, where the outdoor holiday markets are festive with lights and shoppers and revelers, the foods — including the desserts — are hearty, and the forests, if we’re to believe the fairy tales, are alive with all sorts of wondrous beings leaving footprints or ill-fated breadcrumbs in the snow.
This holiday-party-ready cocktail is a riff on one of my most beloved German things: the cherry-and-chocolate Black Forest cake. Sweet and pretty with fruit and whipped cream flourishes, and brooding and boozy with chocolate and kirsch, the cake is the dessert equivalent of Red Riding Hood palling around with the wolf, or Hansel and Gretel adopted by the witch. It’s so good and so bad at the same time that it sounds like a cocktail to me. And it also sounds like the city I live in. So I combined all three for the Black Forest Manhattan. It’s potent, so be careful not to … wolf it down.