Unlike a lot of the cocktails we feature, the Manhattan’s recipe hasn’t changed much over the years. You can vary the proportion of vermouth to bourbon to get the amount of sweetness you want, or you can shake it instead of stirring it, but the ingredients always remain the same. The original recipe used rye rather than bourbon, and if you can find rye, that’s the preferred spirit. However, straight rye’s not that widely available these days, so Canadian whiskey is a good alternative, because it’s still mostly comprised of rye. (ETA: see comments below, as this has changed.)
- 1/2 ounce Italian (sweet) vermouth
- 1 jigger rye (Canadian whiskey) or bourbon
- Dash of Angostura bitters (optional)
Stir with cracked ice, strain into a, and garnish with a cherry. Can also be served on the rocks.
The Manhattan is certainly a perfect drink for sipping on its own. But it’s also delicious with rich foods – particularly mild ones. Serve your Manhattan with crab legs and drawn butter for dipping. Lobster is also perfect, as would be a pasta with a white sauce. Anything that’s rich or creamy provides a very nice contrast.