Making infused vermouth adds a bit of DIY flair to this classic cocktail and definitely takes it up a notch. The Housemade Spiced Red Vermouth can be used in any cocktail calling for sweet vermouth. It’s also delicious on its own, or over ice for a tasty aperitif. Garnish with edible gold flakes for a festive flair!

Housemade Spiced Red Vermouth

Makes enough for about 8 Manhattans

4 strips of orange zest

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1 slice of fresh ginger

2 whole allspice berries

5 whole cloves

10 fresh or frozen cranberries

1 ounce spiced rum

1 cup sweet red vermouth

1. Add all the ingredients in a pretty glass bottle or small decanter. Allow the mixture to infuse for at least two days before using. Flavors will intensify over time — strain if desired. Store refrigerated.

Holiday Manhattan

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce Housemade Spiced Red Vermouth (see accompanying recipe)

Dash of your favorite bitters

Garnish: Amarena cherry and cranberry on a pick

1. Measure the bourbon, infused vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass.

2. Garnish with an Amarena cherry and cranberry on a pick.

© 2013 Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®,