Manhattan Drink – My take on the classic Manhattan cocktail. Includes bourbon, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters with notes of orange and cherry.
This Manhattan is a strong cocktail with slight bitterness and some herbal undertones deriving from the bitters and vermouth. As one of the finest, most known and oldest cocktails, the Manhattan is truly a classic. This is a simple recipe requiring only a few ingredients. You can choose between rye, whiskey, bourbon, or if you prefer – a smooth Canadian whiskey.
No matter how you mix up your Manhattan, you will find that it’s an ideal drink for any occasion, especially a casual night in with friends and not to mention, pairs very nicely with a great variety of dishes. There is no doubt that the Manhattan is an essential whiskey cocktail that everyone should know how to make and should drink at least once in their life!
What is a Manhattan?
A Manhattan is a classic cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. While rye is the traditional whiskey used, other commonly used whiskies include Canadian whisky, bourbon (which is what we are using today) blended whiskey, and Tennessee whiskey.
How the Manhattan drink got its name?
Invented in the 1860’s by a bartender named Black at a bar in New York, on Broadway near Houston Street. The original “Manhattan” dated back to the 1920’s, was a mix of American whiskey, Italian vermouth, and angostura bitters.
Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions, or click the Jump To Recipe button at the top.
- Sweet Vermouth
- Bitters – Angostura bitters work best. You can use a combination of cherry and orange bitters as well but it won’t be a “classic” manhattan.
- Orange Peel
- Maraschino Cherries – You can also amplify your Manhattan by using bourbon cherries, which is what we used.
What are Bitters?
Bitters are a flavoring agent. Used primarily to enhance the taste of alcoholic beverages and made with botanical matter like aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and fruit. The end result will add a bitter, sour, or bittersweet flavor to your drink.
Before the prohibition era, bitters were used in all kinds of cocktails until most brands disappeared when there was a crack down on alcohol production. Nowadays, you can commonly find bitters sold in stores all over.
How to make a Manhattan
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add the whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Stir. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass, then pour in the drink. Serve with 2 or 3 maraschino and orange peel.
How to serve
The Manhattan drink is served straight up or “neat” (without ice). It is dry enough to be served as an aperitif (a small drink taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal) but some may find it too strong for that purpose.
If you are not one for “strong” cocktails, it can be served on the rocks in an Old-Fashioned glass. This will both dilute the drink and keep it colder, reducing its strength.
More delicious cocktail recipes to try:
- Moscow Mule
- Pina Colada
- The Ultimate Mojito
- Italian Ice Tea
- Pomegranate Cider Mimosas
- Classic Canadian Caesar
- Hot Mulled Cider
- Red Grapefruit and Basil Mimosas
- Haunted Orchard Cocktail
- Sangria Blanco
- Pomegranate Elderflower Spritzers
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
- 2 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes bitters such as Angostura
- orange peel
- 3 maraschino cherries
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add the whiskey, vermouth, bitters and stir. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass, then pour the drink in the glass.
- Serve with 2 or 3 maraschino and orange peel.