The classic Manhattan comprises whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and it demands respect. The traditional recipe is with rye whiskey, but Canadian whiskey and Bourbon are a good choice as well. Manhattan is a very fancy cocktail, because of the Martini glass and the cherries, but it’s also very simple. There are only 3 ingredients, so make sure they’re of excellent quality. Add them to a cocktail glass, stir, and strain, and you’re done. 

The first time the Manhattan cocktail appeared in literature was in O.H.Byron’s 1884 “The Modern Bartender’s Guide”. Exact origins are unknown, but it’s believed it was first concocted in New York city’s Manhattan Club sometime around 1880. What is certain is that whiskey and vermouth were bound to meet along the way.

Manhattan is on the list of IBA Official Cocktails.




  1. 2 Ounces (60 ml) of Rye or Bourbon.
  2. 1 Ounce (30 ml) of Sweet Vermouth.
  3. 2-3 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters 
  4. Maraschino cherry or an orange twist as garnish.


  1. Add whiskey, vermouth, and angostura bitters into a mixing glass.
  2. Fill it up with ice and stir.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.
  4. Enjoy a true classic.

Did you know?

The Manhattan has to be stirred. Never, ever shake it. Stirring maintains the texture from the base of the spirit and fortified wine and its gorgeous amber in the glass.

There is a version of the drink, called Perfect Manhattan- that is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part equally divided between sweet and dry vermouth, and, of course, bitters. The thing about it is that- you want it to be balanced. You want to get a good combo of flavor between sweet and dry.

When you choose between Bourbon and Rye, you can’t really go wrong. The traditional recipe is with Rye, but Bourbon will give it a sweet, brighter finish. That is also how we prefer it here. 😉


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