Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by David Michael
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A cocktail classic from when vermouth was promoted from being a stand alone sipper to an ingredient in a mixed drink. Related to the martini, the Manhattan blends sweet vermouth and whiskey into a simple and complexly flavorful cocktail. Rye is the traditional whiskey, but feel free to use bourbon or your favored whiskey. Using scotch makes this a Rob Roy.
This cocktail is a great example of how to use vermouth to your advantage. It can be made with any sweet vermouth you want, just make sure you use something that’s not too sweet.
2 ounces whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Garnish: Brandied or Maraschino cherry
In a mixing glass half filled with ice, combine the whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Strain into a cocktail glass or over ice in an old fashioned glass.
Garnish with a brandied or a Maraschino cherry.
The Manhattan is one of our choices for a not overly sweet Valentine’s Cocktail.
Be sure to check out the Scotch counterpoint – The Rob Roy
For more classic cocktails that are served in a martini glass see our recipes for the Dry Martini and Sidecar.
You may also like our picks of the Best Cocktail Stemware too.
Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.
Recommended Products for a Manhattan
The perfect size for this recipe. I love my Vinum martini glasses, they’re sturdy and have graceful lines. I photographed this Manhattan using a Riedel Vinum Martini glass.
The larger Extreme martini glass is great if you are serving doubles. These hold a generous 8 ounces each.
Also featured in the photo above, I have been using the Riedel mixing glass for nearly all of my stirred cocktails. It’s a nice heavy glass that holds 22 ounces. Plenty of room to make two drinks at the same time – even doubles.
I prefer these stainless steel barspoons from Barfly. They are high quality commercial grade. They come in a great selection of finishes, but stainless is what I always go for.
I love this julep style strainer. It’s just the right size for the Riedel mixing glass. I have the stainless, but it’s available in several great finishes.
The classic bitters with an angostura base that gives the perfect touch of seasoning to your Manhattan. I love the spice of the Fee Brothers old fashion bitters. They also make an amazing range of fruit and spice based bitters to easily update the flavor profile of your cocktails.
Have all the ingredients and more delivered right to your door, with Drizly!