Our drinks expert, Hannah Guinness, shares her at-home bar tips to help you take your manhattan to the next level.
What is a manhattan?
No one is quite sure who invented the manhattan – it emerged in the late 19th century in New York, or possibly New Orleans – but it’s a classic cocktail that doesn’t pull punches, with spicy rye whisky (use bourbon for a more mellow result), fruity sweet vermouth and bitters coming together in a dark, rich, intense drink. Perfect for fireside drinking.
You can use bourbon whisky here but we prefer drier, spicier rye whisky to balance the sweetness of the vermouth. We’ve tried and tested the best rye whiskies here.
As a short cocktail served without ice this works best served in a chilled coupe glass, so you can grip the stem without warming the drink in your hands.
Bar hacks and garnishes
Vermouth is the classic ingredient here but try swapping half of the vermouth with coffee liqueur for a coffee-tinged edge to the drink. We also love replacing the sweet vermouth with a little dry vermouth and pedro ximenez sherry for a raisiny twist – try our PX manhattan here.
Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
- Total time 3 minutes
- Difficulty Easy
- bourbon or rye whisky 50ml
- sweet red vermouth 25ml
- Angostura bitters a few dashes
- cocktail cherry to garnish 1-2
Put the bourbon or whisky, vermouth and bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and stir well. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with the cherries.
Pedro ximénez sherry is the key to this clever cocktail, best sipped on a winter’s evening.
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