A classic Manhattan should always use Rye Whiskey, although a common bourbon is also now acceptable in many bars. Modifications to this drink include a modern Manhattan frequently being served ‘on the rocks’ in an ‘Old Fashioned’ glass (a low-ball glass) instead of a cocktail (martini) glass. It should also be noted that some New York bartenders are now also shaking the ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker instead of stirring it, intentionally creating a froth on the surface of the drink.
Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
One measure is always equal to 25ml or 1 fld oz. A cocktail ‘jigger’ pours out one measure easily.
Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
- 3/4 measure sweet vermouth
- 2 & 1/2 measures rye whiskey (or bourbon whiskey)
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 maraschino cherry
- 1 twist orange peel
Directions: Pour and combine the vermouth, rye (or bourbon) whiskey, and bitters (with 3 ice cubes) in a mixing glass. Stir gently, don’t bruise the spirits or cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass (martini glass) and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils – but don’t drop it in.
A classic Manhattan cocktail is a mix of American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters, but there are competing theories about the origins of it (who first made it and where) some say it was made at the Manhattan Club, in New York City, in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall. However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called “Manhattan” and served in the Manhattan area.
By another account it was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street. While an early record of the cocktail can be found in William Schmidt’s “The Flowing Bowl”, published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum, 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.