To make this Manhattan Drink, you mix Bourbon, Vermouth, and Bitters and garnish with a maraschino cherry or orange peel.
After living in NYC for 6 years, I had to know how to make a Manhattan Drink. To make this, all you need are three ingredients: Bourbon, Vermouth, and Bitters. Traditionally, the cocktail is made with rye whiskey, stirred, and garnished with a maraschino cherry. There are many variations on the drink but I personally prefer garnishing with an orange peel.
- What is a Manhattan Cocktail?
- Where did the Manhattan Cocktail originate?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Manhattan Cocktail Recipe Ingredients
- How to make a Manhattan Drink
- Manhattan Drink Recipe Variations
- How to store a Manhattan Drink
- Top tips for making a Manhattan Drink
- Manhattan Drink Recipe
- Food safety
What is a Manhattan Cocktail?
A Manhattan is a classic cocktail that is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. It is typically served in a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnished with a Maraschino cherry.
The cocktail has a rich, smooth flavor and is often considered a sophisticated drink. It is believed to have originated in the late 1800s in New York City, and it is named after the Manhattan borough of New York.
There are many variations of the Manhattan, but the classic recipe calls for rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Some people also add a dash of orange bitters or use bourbon instead of rye whiskey. The drink can be served straight up or on the rocks, depending on personal preference.
Overall, the Manhattan is a timeless cocktail that is enjoyed by many people around the world.
Where did the Manhattan Cocktail originate?
The exact origin of the Manhattan cocktail is unclear, but it is widely believed to have originated in New York City in the late 1800s. One popular theory is that the cocktail was first created at the Manhattan Club, a social club in Manhattan, during a party thrown by Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill.
According to the story, the cocktail was invented by a bartender named Black who made the drink to honor Lady Churchill's guests. The cocktail was a hit, and it quickly became popular around New York City.
Another theory is that the cocktail was invented by a bartender named William F. Mulhall at a bar called Hoffman House in Manhattan. According to Mulhall's account, the cocktail was first created in the 1880s for a customer who asked for a drink made with whiskey and sweet vermouth.
Regardless of its origin, the Manhattan cocktail has become a classic drink that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It has undergone many variations over the years, but the basic recipe of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters remains the same.
Why you will love this recipe
Versatile: You can adjust this drink however you would like: Feel free to add as much whiskey, vermouth or cherries as you prefer.
Great for any weather: I used to love drinking these on a cold winter day in New York City, as I would get cozy and needed a little bit of warmth.
Manhattan Cocktail Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Rye whiskey (you can also use bourbon if you prefer)
- Sweet vermouth
- Angostura bitters
- Maraschino cherry for garnish (or orange peel)
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make a Manhattan Drink
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Add 2 oz of rye whiskey, 1 oz of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters to the mixing glass.
- Stir the ingredients with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is well chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
- Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
- Enjoy your delicious Manhattan cocktail!
Note: Some people prefer their Manhattan with a twist instead of a cherry. In this case, you can substitute the cherry with a lemon twist. Simply express the oils of the lemon peel over the drink, then discard the peel.
There are several ways to make substitutions in a Manhattan cocktail, depending on your personal taste and preferences. Here are some ideas:
- Whiskey - The traditional whiskey used in a Manhattan is rye whiskey, but you can also use bourbon, Canadian whiskey, or other types of whiskey depending on your taste.
- Vermouth - The sweet vermouth used in a Manhattan can be substituted with dry vermouth for a drier taste. For a richer flavor, you can use a sweet vermouth with a higher alcohol content.
- Bitters - While Angostura bitters are the classic choice for a Manhattan, you can experiment with other types of bitters, such as orange bitters or Peychaud's bitters, for a different flavor profile.
- Garnish - While a Maraschino cherry is the traditional garnish for a Manhattan, you can use other types of cherries or garnishes, such as a lemon or orange peel, for a different twist.
- Ice - You can use different types of ice in your Manhattan, such as large ice cubes or crushed ice, depending on your preference.
Remember that substitutions can alter the taste and character of the Manhattan cocktail, so it's important to experiment with small changes to find the recipe that works best for you.
Manhattan Drink Recipe Variations
The Manhattan cocktail is a classic cocktail that has been around for over a century, and there are many variations that have developed over the years. Here are a few popular variations of the Manhattan cocktail:
- Perfect Manhattan - A Perfect Manhattan is made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth in place of just the sweet vermouth. This gives the cocktail a slightly drier taste.
- Rob Roy - A Rob Roy is similar to a Manhattan but is made with Scotch whisky instead of rye or bourbon. It is named after a famous Scottish folk hero.
- Brooklyn - A Brooklyn is a variation of the Manhattan that uses dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth, and Amer Picon, a French aperitif, instead of bitters. It is named after the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
- Black Manhattan - A Black Manhattan is made with Averna, an Italian amaro, instead of bitters, which gives the cocktail a darker color and a slightly bitter taste.
- Tuxedo - A Tuxedo is a variation of the Manhattan that uses gin instead of whiskey, along with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and absinthe or orange bitters.
These are just a few of the many variations of the Manhattan cocktail. The possibilities are endless, and you can experiment with different types of whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and garnishes to create your own unique variation.
Check out my Spiked Lemonade if you love this recipe.
- Mixing glass or shaker - You will need a mixing glass or shaker to mix the ingredients of the cocktail. A mixing glass is traditionally used for a Manhattan, but a shaker can also be used if you prefer.
- Bar spoon - You will need a bar spoon to stir the cocktail. A bar spoon is longer than a regular spoon and has a twisted handle to help with stirring.
- Jigger - A jigger is a small measuring tool used to measure out the ingredients for the cocktail. A standard jigger usually holds 1 ½ ounces on one side and ¾ ounce on the other side.
- Strainer - You will need a strainer to strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. A Hawthorne strainer is commonly used, but a fine-mesh strainer can also be used.
- Coupe or martini glass - The Manhattan cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled coupe or martini glass.
- Ice - You will need ice to chill the mixing glass or shaker, as well as to chill the serving glass. It is recommended to use large ice cubes to prevent the cocktail from getting too watered down.
How to store a Manhattan Drink
- Pour the cocktail into an airtight container with a lid. Make sure the container is large enough to hold the entire cocktail, leaving some space at the top.
- Place the container in the refrigerator to chill. It is recommended to store the cocktail for no longer than a day or two to ensure freshness.
- Before serving, give the cocktail a good stir with a bar spoon to make sure the ingredients are well mixed.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass using a Hawthorne or fine-mesh strainer.
- Garnish with a cherry or lemon or orange twist, if desired.
It's important to note that storing a Manhattan cocktail may alter the taste slightly, as the flavors may blend together over time. It's recommended to store the cocktail for only a short period of time to ensure the best taste and quality.
Top tips for making a Manhattan Drink
- Use high-quality ingredients - The key to a good cocktail is using high-quality ingredients. Use a good quality rye or bourbon whiskey, fresh vermouth, and high-quality bitters.
- Chill the glass - Before making the cocktail, chill the serving glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water while you prepare the cocktail.
- Stir, don't shake - The Manhattan is traditionally stirred, not shaken. Stirring helps to mix the ingredients while maintaining the integrity of the flavors. Over-shaking can cause the drink to become diluted and cloudy.
- Use the right ratio - The traditional ratio for a Manhattan is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. However, you can adjust the ratio to your liking, such as using more or less vermouth or bitters.
- Strain the cocktail - Strain the cocktail through a Hawthorne or fine-mesh strainer to remove any ice or sediment from the mixture.
- Garnish with a cherry - A cherry is a traditional garnish for a Manhattan cocktail. You can also use a lemon or orange twist for a citrusy flavor.
- Experiment with variations - There are many variations of the Manhattan cocktail, so don't be afraid to experiment with different types of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters to create your own unique twist on this classic cocktail.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove