Manhattan Cocktail

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dotw logoThe Manhattan cocktail may be the best know whiskey cocktail. Of course, the aren’t forgetting the Old Fashioned, OK maybe it is a tie. Although it’s origins are in dispute (like most cocktails), the Manhattan cocktail originated in Manhattan (Surprise!) sometime during the 1870’s.

Served up or on the rocks, a basic Manhattan cocktail consists of Bourbon or Rye, purists insist on Rye, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. Unless asked for it a proper Manhattan is served up in a coupe or cocktail glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry. Personally, I prefer my Manhattan on the rocks with a twist. In most places this hard to achieve. Rock, no problem. Twist is an issue, I mostly get a cherry and sometimes a twist and a cherry, bur rarely a twist (sigh..)

How do you like your Manhattan? Discus…



  • 1 ½ oz Bourbon or Rye
  • ¾ oz sweet vermouth
  • 1–2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish


Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Dry Manhattan: substitute dry vermouth and an olive garnish

Perfect Manhattan: use half dry vermouth and half sweet vermouth and garnish with a lemon twist

Photo by Jackson Stakeman, originally published in DIY Cocktails.