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Bourbon Manhattan: A Sweet Twist on a Classic

Bourbon Manhattan: A Sweet Twist on a Classic
  April 30, 2024

Bourbon Manhattan: A Sweet Twist on a Classic

The Manhattan is a legendary cocktail, but did you know there's a delightful variation that swaps rye whiskey for bourbon? The Bourbon Manhattan offers a slightly sweeter and smoother taste experience, while retaining the sophistication of the original. Here's how to craft this delectable drink at home:


2 ounces bourbon (choose your favorite brand!)

1 ounce sweet vermouth (such as Carpano Antica Formula or Dolin Rouge)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

Optional: Orange twist (for garnish)

Woodford Reserve Masters Collection Historic Barrel Entry 700 ML


Chill and Assemble: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

Stir it Up: Stir gently for 30 seconds to combine and chill the drink. Stirring, rather than shaking, preserves the smooth texture of the Manhattan.

Strain and Serve: Strain the concoction into a chilled coupe glass.

Garnish with Flair: Express the oils from a maraschino cherry or orange twist over the glass and then drop it in for garnish.


Bourbon Bonanza: Explore different bourbons to discover how the unique characteristics of each brand influence the final flavor profile. For a spicier Manhattan, choose a high-rye bourbon.

Vermouth Variations: Sweet vermouth adds depth and complexity, but feel free to experiment! Dry vermouth can be used for a drier Manhattan, or explore other sweet vermouth brands to find your favorite.

Proof Preferences: Bourbon varies in alcohol content (proof). If you prefer a less potent drink, use a lower proof bourbon or adjust the amount to your taste.

A Touch of Sweetness: For an extra touch of sweetness, add a bar spoon (about 1/4 ounce) of simple syrup to the mixing glass before stirring.

Cherry Choice: While a maraschino cherry is a classic garnish, consider a luxardo cherry or a brandied cherry for a different flavor dimension. You can also skip the garnish altogether if you prefer.

The Beauty of Balance:

The Bourbon Manhattan is a celebration of balanced flavors. The rich and smooth bourbon takes center stage, complemented by the sweetness of the vermouth and the aromatic complexity of the bitters. It's a cocktail that's both approachable and satisfying, perfect for sipping and enjoying the company of friends.

So grab your mixing glass, raise a toast to a delightful variation, and experience the joy of creating your own Bourbon Manhattan!