The classic Manhattan cocktail has been a favorite among both whiskey and cocktail lovers for decades. This complex blend of flavors is easier to make at home than you think.
Check out this short guide that will walk you through all the steps of making the best Manhattan, from the ingredients to the most delicious food pairing ideas.
The classic Manhattan cocktail uses rye whiskey, but you might have tried this cocktail with bourbon instead. While both are great choices, the Bourbon Manhattan will be sweeter. Canadian whisky also works and was used to mix these cocktails during Prohibition.
But we recommend trying the classic recipe first to get that signature spice from the rye whiskey. After that, feel free to play with the recipe however you want!
- 2 ounces of rye whiskey
- 1 ounce of sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 Maraschino cherry for garnish
- Add all the liquids to a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a cocktail cherry.
You can also skip the mixing glass and stir the drink straight into the serving one, especially if you’re preparing this drink for yourself.
This classic cocktail has around 167 calories per serving and roughly 4.3 grams of carbs. It might not be heavy calorie-wise, but its alcohol content is a different story.
One Manhattan drink has a 30% ABV, assuming you use an 80-proof bottle. It’s a strong drink that might give light drinkers a minor buzz from just a few sips.
Take your Manhattan mixing skills to the next level with these serving tips:
- Make a Bourbon Manhattan: If you’re not a fan of rye whiskey, you can still get a great Manhattan with bourbon. Swap the sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters for dry vermouth and orange bitters to balance all the flavors.
- Use Luxardo cherries: Though they’re similar, a Luxardo cherry is on the high-end side and not something you’d ever see on a dessert. This cherry can elevate your Manhattan and make a stronger impression.
- Use a coupe or martini glass: You can technically serve this cocktail in any glass you want, but a coupe or martini glass helps it make a visual impression as well.
- Pair with rich and fatty foods: The whiskey, vermouth, and bitters combo complements cheesy dishes or fatty treats like a pulled pork sandwich.
Here are some other great recipes you can get from the Manhattan template:
- Rob Roy: It’s essentially a scotch Manhattan and the perfect treat if you’re an avid scotch whiskey lover.
- Brooklyn Cocktail: Use rye, dry vermouth, aromatic bitters, and Maraschino liqueur to get a more unique and sweeter Manhattan;
- Brandy Manhattan: Add some sophistication to your dinner party by rolling out a cocktail made with cognac or brandy.
- Black Manhattan: Use an amaro liqueur instead of the sweet vermouth to create a bolder version of this cocktail.
The classic cocktail recipe leaves a lot of room for experimentation, so don’t be afraid to add your unique twist to it.
New York City’s Manhattan Club created one of the most famous drinks in the world. Even though Manhattan took a break from the limelight for a while, it’s now a go-to for anyone looking for real, great American cocktails.
Give this recipe a shot today, or check out some other classic whiskey cocktails on our site!