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The Manhattan: A Timeless Cocktail for any Occasion

The Manhattan: A Timeless Cocktail for any Occasion
  March 29, 2024

The Manhattan: A Timeless Cocktail for any Occasion

The Manhattan is a sophisticated and timeless cocktail, perfect for a sophisticated evening or a casual gathering. Its origins are a bit hazy, but its popularity has endured for over a century.  This recipe creates a classic Manhattan, balanced and flavorful.


2 ounces rye whiskey (high-quality rye whiskey is recommended)

1 ounce sweet vermouth

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

Optional: Luxardo maraschino cherry (for a more luxurious touch)

Optional: Orange peel (for garnish)


Chill Your Glass: Begin by chilling a coupe glass or Nick and Nora glass. Fill the glass with ice and let it sit for a few minutes. Discard the ice before building your drink.

Stir, Don't Shake: In a separate mixing glass, combine the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir gently for 15-20 seconds. Stirring, rather than shaking, preserves the delicate dilution and prevents the drink from becoming cloudy.

Strain and Garnish: Using a bar strainer, strain the chilled cocktail into your prepared coupe glass. Discard the ice and any remaining solids from the strainer.

Express the Garnish (Optional): If using an orange peel, express the oils by gently squeezing it over the drink and then discard it.

Top it Off: Garnish your Manhattan with a maraschino cherry. For an extra touch of luxury, consider using a Luxardo maraschino cherry, known for its intense flavor and quality.


Rye Whiskey Matters: Rye whiskey is the traditional spirit for a Manhattan, lending a spicy and slightly peppery character to the drink. If rye whiskey isn't available, bourbon can be substituted, though the flavor profile will be slightly sweeter and less spicy.

Sweet Vermouth Selection: Sweet vermouth brands can vary in sweetness and complexity. Explore different options to find one that suits your taste preference. Popular brands include Carpano Antica Formula and Dolin Rouge.

Adjust the Sweetness: The amount of sweet vermouth can be adjusted slightly to your taste. Start with 1 ounce and add more in small increments if you prefer a sweeter drink.

The Perfect Ice: Large ice cubes melt slower, preventing your Manhattan from becoming watered down too quickly.

Beyond the Classic:

The Manhattan serves as a base for many creative variations. Explore these options to expand your cocktail repertoire:

The Perfect Manhattan: This version uses equal parts (1 ounce each) of rye whiskey and sweet vermouth.

The Dry Manhattan: Reduce the amount of sweet vermouth to ¾ ounce for a drier and less sweet drink.

The Bourbon Manhattan: Substitute bourbon for rye whiskey for a sweeter and smoother Manhattan variation.

With its simplicity and versatility, the Manhattan is a cocktail anyone can appreciate. So, gather your ingredients, stir up this timeless classic, and enjoy a taste of cocktail history.