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Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

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A Manhattan is a classic cocktail that was likely invented in the mid-1800s. The origins of the cocktail are debated, but not the recipe. It comprises Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, and Bitters with a maraschino cherry as a garnish.

The Manhattan, as well as the espresso and lemon drop martini, are our favorite classic cocktails.

Manhattan cocktail garnished with a cherry

The Manhattan is a classic spirit-forward cocktail with a 2 to 1 ratio of Rye Whiskey to Sweet Vermouth.

What you need to make a Manhattan Cocktail

ingredients to make a Manhattan cocktail

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The ingredients of a Manhattan Cocktail are simple but timeless.

  • Rye Whiskey is the main ingredient in a Manhattan Cocktail. It is made from at least 51 percent rye grain and aged in new oak barrels, producing a spicy and fruity whiskey. One can substitute bourbon whiskey for a sweeter and more mellow drink. If the rye whiskey is substituted with scotch whiskey, it makes a Rob Roy cocktail.
  • Sweet Vermouth is a fortified wine
  • Bitters – Angostura is the bitters traditionally used in this cocktail. It adds herbal notes and a bittersweet twang to the cocktail.
  • Garnish – Maraschino Cherries are a classic garnish for this cocktail. To elevate your drinking experience, I would recommend

Cocktail Supplies

How to Make a Manhattan Cocktail

Fill a stemmed cocktail glass with ice. It can be a Nick & Nora or Martini glass. A rocks glass could also be used; however, this drink is served neat, so stemmed glasses are more traditional and elegant.

Add rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters to a cup.

pouring sweet vermouth over rye whiskey in a graduated glass

Add ice to the cocktail and stir clockwise with a bar spoon until chilled. For some zing, add pieces of lemon peel to the mixture.

Manhattan cocktail in a glass with ice and a spoon

Pour through a cocktail strainer into a freezing-cold cocktail glass.

pouring a Manhattan cocktail into a glass through a cocktail strainer

Garnish with a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick or lemon twist straight in the glass. I recommend brandied cherries because they taste amazing and are more sophisticated than bright red maraschino cherries! But both options are perfectly fine. A cocktail recipe is just a framework and you can tweak things to fit your preferences.

Manhattan cocktail garnished with a cherry

Manhattan Cocktail

A classic spirit-forward cocktail. It comprises rye whiskey, bitters, sweet vermouth.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bitters, cocktail, Manhattan, Manhattan cocktail, mixed drink, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 182kcal


  • 2 ounces Rye Whiskey
  • 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Bitters
  • Ice
  • 1 Maraschino cherry


  • Chill stemmed cocktail with ice.
  • Combine rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters to a glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice and stir the mixture with a bar spoon.
  • Using a cocktail strainer, pour the cocktail into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish the drink with a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick or a twist of lemon peel.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.03g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 0.2mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.03mg
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See you soon,

Ps. This post was shared on Between Naps on The Porch.

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Gabriel Morissette

Tuesday 18th of June 2024

Each drink offers a unique blend of flavors and a rich history that continues to captivate cocktail enthusiasts tomb of the mask.

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