Classic New York Cocktails The Manhattan

NYC Classic Cocktails: The Manhattan

It’s believed that the Manhattan was designed by an unnamed bar tender, in the 1880s in New York, to win over American rye whiskey lovers to the more lucrative trade of cocktail drinking.

This mix of rye or bourbon whiskey, sweet Italian vermouth, and Angostura bitters has been loved for over a hundred and forty years because of its peculiar bitter and herb undertones. The Italian vermouth gives a hint of sweetness and caramel flavours are provided by the whiskey.

Rye Whiskey versus Bourbon Whiskey Debate

Rye whiskey is the original whiskey ingredient, used since the 1880s. This gives it a unique sharp and spicy taste. But there’s an ongoing Rye versus Bourbon debate, and there’s even a debate about the merits of a maraschino cherry versus a lemon twist, and like in all matters of taste, these debates will never be resolved.

The Manhattan is considered to be a strong alcoholic cocktail, and this gives it its appeal to urban bar-goers. Even now, when tastes in cocktails are rapidly changing, the Manhattan holds it’s own, and no respectable NYC bar or New York jingoistic bar manager can go without this classic NYC cocktail on the menu.

Cocktail Ingredients

  • 50ml Canadian, bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 25ml Italian rosso vermouth, we used Martini
  • 5ml maraschino cherry liqueur, we used Luxardo cherry liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice

Garnish with

  • A maraschino cherry
  • A twist of lemon

Special Equipment

  • A mixing glass
  • A cocktail strainer

Preparation Method

Combine the ingredients together with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and slice of lemon and serve up.

The Manhattan Facts & Figures – Loved in Delaware during the Pandemic

According to the latest Google Trends research, March 2020 to March 2021, people used cocktails to cheer themselves up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those locked down at home, searched Google for “Manhattan cocktail”, “Classic American cocktails”, and other cocktails that you can easily make at home, and the number of such searches massively increased in the USA over the past year.

Out of all of the 50 American states, one state favored the Manhattan above all other cocktails. It wasn’t New York state, they preferred the Vodka Fizz. This classic cocktail made with vermouth and whiskey, was found to be the most popular drink with stay at home drinkers in the Atlantic state of Delaware.