Classic Manhattan

The Classic Manhattan Cocktail on a dark tableThe classic Manhattan was invented in New York City’s Manhattan Club in the 1880s. And, over the years, it has dipped in and out of fashion. Eventually, it found its way to being one of the cornerstones of craft cocktails.

What is interesting is that this drink that evolved in the 19th century looks and tastes pretty much the same as the one served today. The Manhattan mixes American whiskey and Italian vermouth, enlivened with a few dashes of aromatic bitters, in this timeless and delicious definition of what a cocktail should be.

We use rye in this version for its spicy profile. But, you can go with whatever you prefer, either rye or whiskey. And, while Angostura bitters are a must, you might choose to include a single dash of orange bitters to help brighten the flavor.

However you decide to craft your Manhattan, the classic combination of two parts whiskey to one part sweet vermouth and bitters (stirred, never shaken) is easy to remember. Mix one up and you’ll see why this drink has remained a favorite since its inception.

The Classic Manhattan Recipe
Yields one cocktail

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
brandied cherry or lemon twist for garnish

Add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain the liquid into a chilled coupe glass.

Garnish with a brandied cherry (or a lemon twist, if preferred).


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