By , October 11, 2003

Talk about serendipity– when I sat down to write today, I decided to cover the next cocktail on the list I posted awhile back. I consulted said list, and saw that I promised a recipe for a Manhattan would follow that for a martini. Tomorrow I will be in Manhattan, today I am writing about the eponymous libation. How about that?

Predating even the venerable martini, the Manhattan was probably first concocted in 1881 or 1882 at the Manhattan Club in New York City. It is traditionally made with rye whiskey, though many bars pour it with a whiskey chosen seemingly random, so be sure to specify rye if you order one, lest you be served something less than optimal.


I reminded you in my previous cocktail post that a martini is better stirred than shaken; while a martini is less appealing shaken, a shaken Manhattan is almost undrinkable. The drink itself will be cloudy, and an unappetizing foam will congeal atop the drink, so please stir.

Manhattan Cocktail

2 ounces rye whiskey, preferably Rittenhouse 100-proof
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients over ice for about one minute, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a marschino cherry. Twist an orange peel over the drink to spritz the surface of the cocktail with the oils, then rub the peel around the rim of the glass, and discard the peel.

(If you cannot find Rittenhouse 100-proof rye, Old Overholt makes a fine substitute.)

A word about the maraschino cherry: the chewy, sweet cherries, reminiscent of formaldehyde, that you are normally served in drinks at bars are not suitable for a proper drink. You can make your own maraschino cherries from scratch easily enough, and I’ll provide a recipe in another post, but if you haven’t the time, I’d suggest garnishing the drink with the ordinarily-discarded orange twist rather than spoiling it with a fake cherry.


3 Responses to “Manhattan”

  1. I want you tending the bar at the next party I’m at. You know more than any “real” bartender I have ever seen. :)


  2. Hybrid_girl says:

    you sure know your drinks!


  3. Have fun in New York! Safe trip!


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