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How To Make A Manhattan Cocktail

Delish UK logo Delish UK 14/02/2020 Victoria Chandler
a glass of wine sitting on top of a wooden table: A Manhattan is a cocktail made using whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters. The drink apparently originated at the Manhattan Club in NYC in the mid-1870s. © arinahabich - Getty Images A Manhattan is a cocktail made using whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters. The drink apparently originated at the Manhattan Club in NYC in the mid-1870s.

What is a Manhattan?

A Manhattan is a cocktail made using whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters. The drink apparently originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the mid 1870s in honour of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

What is the difference between a Manhattan and an Old-Fashioned?

It’s not just the glasses, despite both cocktails using whisky and bitters, there are differences between the two. And the main is the choice of sweetener. An Old-Fashioned uses simple syrup, a syrup made by cooking equal parts sugar and water together, while a Manhattan uses sweet red vermouth.

What is the best whisky to use for a Manhattan?

The whisky-based drink tends to use Rye traditionally, but it’s not uncommon to use bourbon, Canadian whisky, or Tennessee whisky. If you drink it with Scotch, you’re technically drinking a Rob Roy (which also uses half and half sweet and dry vermouth).

If you’re in a good cocktail bar and order a Manhattan, the bartender may ask what base you’d like. To keep it simple, if you want something a little spicier ask for Rye, but if you’re after something slightly sweeter, opt for Bourbon.

Some may also ask you if you want it on the rocks, which in my opinion is cocktail sacrilege, but you know, each to their own.

What is the best vermouth for a Manhattan?

A Manhattan uses sweet red vermouth (my favourite is Martini Rosso), but you can use a dry vermouth, like in a Martini, which turns your drink into a Dry Manhattan.

Yields: 1

Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 50 mL

    rye whisky

  • 20 mL

    sweet red vermouth

  • Dash angostura bitters

  • Maraschino cherry, to garnish

Directions

  1. Fill a glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Add your ingredients, except the garnish, and stir gently with a long spoon.
  2. Strain into a martini glass and serve with a maraschino cherry.
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