The Manhattan Cocktail

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manhattan cocktail

Photo Credit: Emily Andreeva

The Manhattan Cocktail: A Timeless Classic
The Manhattan is a true classic, with a smooth, rich flavor that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. Served in a chilled glass with a cherry garnish, the Manhattan is the perfect choice for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

The Manhattan Cocktail: A Timeless Classic

If you’re a fan of classic cocktails, then the Manhattan is likely on your radar. This iconic drink has been a favorite of whiskey lovers for well over a century, and for good reason. With its smooth, sophisticated flavor and timeless appeal, the Manhattan is a cocktail that never goes out of style.

History of the Manhattan Cocktail

The Manhattan is said to have originated in New York City in the 1870s or 1880s, and was likely named after the borough of Manhattan. It quickly gained popularity as a drink of choice among the city’s elite, and was soon a staple in bars across the country.


The classic Manhattan is made with just a few simple ingredients:

Required Barware and Glassware

To make a Manhattan, you’ll need a few key pieces of barware:


To make a classic Manhattan, follow these steps:

  1. Fill your mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the bourbon or rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir gently for 20-30 seconds, until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry or orange peel, if desired.

Variations of the Manhattan cocktail

While the classic Manhattan is delicious on its own, there are a few variations that are worth trying:

  • Perfect Manhattan: This version of the Manhattan uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, for a slightly drier, more complex flavor.
  • Rob Roy: Made with Scotch instead of bourbon or rye, the Rob Roy is a smokier, more savory take on the Manhattan.
  • Brooklyn: This variation swaps out the sweet vermouth for dry vermouth and adds a splash of maraschino liqueur and Amer Picon, for a bittersweet, complex flavor.


If you’re not a fan of whiskey, or just want to try something different, there are plenty of other cocktails that are worth exploring:

  • Old Fashioned: Made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a splash of water, the Old Fashioned is a timeless classic.
  • Negroni: This Italian cocktail is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, for a bold, bitter flavor.
  • Sazerac: Another classic cocktail, the Sazerac is made with rye whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, and absinthe, for a complex, herbal flavor.

In conclusion, the Manhattan is a cocktail that has stood the test of time, thanks to its simple yet sophisticated flavor and timeless appeal. Whether you prefer it classic or with a twist, the Manhattan is a cocktail that every whiskey lover should try at least once.

Best-Rated Whiskeys

  1. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon: This highly sought-after bourbon has a cult-like following and consistently receives top ratings for its complex, rich flavor profile with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

  2. Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky: This blended Japanese whisky has received numerous awards and high ratings for its smooth, balanced taste with notes of honey, citrus, and oak.

  3. Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch: This Islay single malt scotch is known for its intense, smoky flavor with notes of peat, sea salt, and a hint of sweetness, and has consistently received high ratings from experts.

  4. George T. Stagg Bourbon: Another highly sought-after bourbon, this barrel-proof whiskey has a rich and complex flavor with notes of dark fruit, spice, and oak, and consistently receives top ratings.

  5. Redbreast 12-Year-Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey: This Irish whiskey is known for its smooth and creamy taste with notes of fruit, spice, and a hint of sherry, and has received high ratings for its quality and value.

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