The classic Manhattan cocktail is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and it demands respect. The traditional recipe is with rye whiskey, but Canadian whiskey and Bourbon are common too. Altho Manhattans look very fancy with the Martini glass and the cherries, it’s actually a very simple cocktail with only 3 ingredients. The only thing you need to consider is the quality of those 3 ingredients. Manhattans should always be stirred, not shaken, so you won’t even need a shaker for them.

Origin of the Manhattan cocktail :

The first recipe was published in 1884 in O.H.Byron’s The Modern Bartender’s Guide. Exact origins are unknown, but it’s believed the cocktail was invented in New York cIty’s Manhattan Club sometime around 1880. What is certain is that whiskey and vermouth were bound to meet sometime so we can have this classy drink.


  1. 60ml Rye or Bourbon
  2. 30ml Sweet Vermouth 
  3. Angostura Aromatic Bitters 
  4. Maraschino cherry for garnish (orange or lemon peel works too )

How to make the classic Manhattan cocktail :

  1. Add whiskey, vermouth, and a few dashes of angostura bitters into a mixing glass.
  2. Fill it up with ice and stir.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini 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 can be substituted, and it will give it a sweet, brighter finish. That is also how we prefer it here.

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