As we continue our journey into exploring classic cocktails that you can (and should) make at home, next on the list is the Manhattan. Like the Old Fashioned, this drink has been around for a very long time, and for good reason. It’s delightful.
This is a perfect drink for when you want a cocktail but don’t have the time or ingredients for something more elaborate. Or for when you’d like to sip on something and imagine what it was like to have had this drink in a speakeasy during American prohibition. Vermouth and whiskey can both be found at your local spirits shop or even the grocery store. Nothing too fancy or hard to get here.
Word has it that the Manhattan originated in or around New York city back in the 1870’s and like many things from that time, there is dispute about who actually made it first. All I know is that whoever it was, would probably be quite pleased with themselves if they knew that the drink was still being had well over a century later.
Now, on to business.
Ingredients to make a Manhattan
What you’ll need:
- 2 oz whiskey (bourbon, rye, Tennessee whiskey will all work)
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Maraschino cherry (optional – just use the good stuff if you want to add one)
- A couple of glasses
In this particular case, I went with Bulleit bourbon, Noilly Pratt vermouth, and of course the Angostura bitters. I’m all out of Luxardo cherries so we’ll have to go without this time.
How to make your Manhattan
Add your whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice then stir for 15-20 seconds. When the mixture has been sufficiently stirred and is chilled, you’re ready to pour your Manhattan into a fresh glass.
Note: Ice cubes used to stir your drink are generally referred to as “dirty ice” when you’re done stirring and are not retained when you pour your drink. Stick with fresh ice when you’re ready to drink.
At this point you can either go ‘straight up’ (without ice) or with a single large cube. Personally I prefer a single large cube because I like my drinks cold. If possible, stay away from using small ice cubes in the final product as they’ll melt faster and water down the final result.
If you have a Luxardo cherry, you can go ahead and drop it in now.
Otherwise that’s it, you’re ready to go. Double the recipe for two drinks and enjoy with a friend over talks of life and the pursuit of happiness.
Cheers! – Damien