The Manhattan Cocktail is another of the true classics – the cocktails that would not look out of place in Mad Men, and just like the Old Fashioned, Rob Roy, Martini and countless others have stood the test of time. These classics are experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity as party cocktails like Sex on the Beach and Woo Woos fall from their pedestal.

Generally drunk most often by men, though current drinks trends are seeing more and more women venturing into whiskey drinks which is great.


The Manhattan Cocktail is served in a Cocktail (Martini) Glass.

Manhattan Cocktail Ingredients

This sweet Manhattan Cocktail is considered the defacto standard, though it can also be ordered as a Dry Manhattan Cocktail (with dry vermouth instead of sweet) or as a Perfect Manhattan Cocktail (with a ½oz each or Dry and Sweet Vermouth). For the Dry Manhattan, garnish with a lemon twist, and for the Perfect Manhattan, a lemon twist and the maraschino cherry.

Of course your can substitute the specified whiskey for another such as Jack Daniels or a Bourbon Whiskey, or switching for Scotch takes you into Rob Roy territory.

How to mix a Manhattan Cocktail

Stir all ingredients with ice in a martini pitcher or Boston glass and strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel and a maraschino cherry.

The drink can trace its origins back to the late 1800s when it is listed in William Schmidt’s “The Flowing Bowl”, published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of Simple Syrup, 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.

The Manhattan Cocktail also appears listed as a Tennessee Cocktail in Shake ’em Up! by V. Elliott and P. Strong from 1930 – “Two parts of whiskey, one part of Italian Vermouth and a dash of bitters poured over ice and stirred vigorously.”

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