Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe: A Sophisticated Pre-Dinner Cocktail

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

A flavorful 19th century before dinner drink with a clear red orange color and strong taste. It's one of the best classic cocktails in the bartender's book - Manhattan! This classic Manhattan is the original Manhattan recipe, composed of Italian vermouth, rye whiskey and angostura bitters, combined and stirred to perfection with maraschino cherry as its garnish.

Did You Know? Legend has it that the Manhattan cocktail got its name in the 1860s, in honor of the place where it was said to be created: Manhattan Club in New York. Share this trivia!

Manhattan Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Sweet vermouth
  • 2 oz. Rye whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Manhattan Preparation:

  1. Pour the ingredients into a glass and add ice.
  2. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with maraschino cherry. 
Enjoyed making this drink? Share this recipe!

Did You Know? There are 187 calories in each glass of Manhattan. Share this trivia!

Watch it here!

Recipe Variations

Be careful with preparing the original recipe. But don't be afraid to experiment! Who knows, you might just make one of the Manhattan variations below! 
  • Perfect Manhattan - Sweet and dry vermouth plus a dash of orange bitters will bring your classic Manhattan to perfection. 
  • Dry Manhattan - If you're not really into sweet drinks, take out the sweet vermouth and replace it with dry vermouth. 
  • Brandy Manhattan - How different will Manhattan be if brandy was used instead of whiskey? Find out yourself using this recipe! 

Know Your Ingredients!

You're only three steps away from having your own glass of Manhattan! Here's what you'll need:3
  • Sweet vermouth - Sweetened Italian wine mixed with brandy and several herbs and spices. 
  • Rye whiskey - Whiskey made from distilled and aged rye. 
  • Angostura bitters - Bitters originally made in a town called Angostura. Used in flavouring drinks more often than food. 
  • Maraschino cherry - The perfect topper for most cocktails. 

Bar Accessories 

Four ingredients, four equipments-and a specific, beautiful glass for serving! Know more about the bar accessories below. 
  • Mixing glass - Acts like a pitcher, but especially made for cocktail recipes. 
  • Jigger - This accessory may be small, but its use for measuring drinks goes a long way! 
  • Mixing spoon - Easy to hold and easy to clean, this steel spoon will also make the preparation easier for you! 
  • Strainer - No, not the usual ones you see for cooking. Cocktail strainers are especially made to strain cocktails to another glass.
  • Cocktail glass - The most common type of glassware that cocktails are served in. 

The History 

The widely-known origin of the Manhattan is regarded as a myth rather than actual history because of its lack of evidence, but it's still quite amusing. It is said that, Winston Churchill's mother held a celebration for presidential candidate Samuel Tilden in the Manhattan Club when he became the people's popular vote. He lost the election, but such celebration brought Manhattan cocktail into existence. 

Did You Know? The official state beverage of Alabama is whiskey. Share this trivia!

The Rise in Fame

More than five years ago, there was a significant drop in the interest that people showed towards Manhattan. But the cocktail is far from being forgotten, and even made a significant comeback in the charts. Its reported birthplace is its number one supporter, and the District of Columbia and Vermont follows after it. In the international scene, Italy comes second to the US, with Greece, Canada and Latvia showing as much support to this elegant drink. 

The Perfect Pair

Thanks to the capability of whiskey to cleanse the fat out of your palettes, you can freely pair several dishes with Manhattan, especially those that are rich, fatty or spicy, as well as sweet in taste. Crispy chicken or pork sandwiches and waffles are great choices to put in your menu. 

See What Others Think

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Manhattan. 🌇 Hey, girl.

A post shared by Shannon Sturgis (@shannonshootscocktails) on

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Updated: October 31, 2019.


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