Manhattan Cocktail – an Iconic Drink

The Manhattan cocktail, with its sweet, seductive flavor mingling enticingly with a hint of bitterness, has always been a top choice for cocktail enthusiasts, and I am no exception.

The Manhattan is a classic and sophisticated cocktail that has stood the test of time. This iconic drink has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. This drink is often confused with the Old Fashion cocktail.

The basic recipe for a Manhattan typically includes rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. I’ve never tried a drink with 3 types of alcohol before. So, here goes nothing! Hoping that I’m not gonna get too wasted.

This is how to make a Manhattan cocktail:

Classic Manhattan Mocktail

Timeless, seductive, and always a top choice for those who savor the symphony of flavors in a well-crafted cocktail.
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 150 kcal


  • 2 oz rye whiskey e.g., Bulleit Rye, Old Forester Rye, or Rittenhouse Rye
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth e.g., NoillyPrat Rouge or Vermouth Routin
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry or orange twist for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and add the dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Stir the mixture well for about 30 seconds to chill the ingredients and achieve the desired dilution.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry or an orange twist.
Keyword alcohol, cocktails, drinks

The Manhattan cocktail recipe above is the traditional and basic one. You can still create many variations from this. For instance, you can make a “Perfect Manhattan” by using equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, adding a nuanced balance to the drink. Some people also experiment with different types of whiskey, such as bourbon or even a smoky Scotch, to put their own spin on this classic cocktail.

  • Dry Manhattan: For this version, swap out the sweet vermouth for dry vermouth, and you’ve got a whole new vibe. The result is a crisper, less sweet cocktail that lets the rye whiskey shine even more.
  • Perfect Manhattan: Why settle for one type of vermouth when you can have both? The perfect Manhattan comes with both sweet and dry vermouth, creating a harmonious balance that dances on your palate.
A Black Manhattan cocktail glass
The Black Manhattan
  • Rob Roy: If Scotch whisky is more your style, the Rob Roy is your go-to. You just need to use Scotch instead of the rye, and you’ve got a smokier, peatier version of the Manhattan.
  • Black Manhattan: Replace the traditional rye with amaro—a bitter Italian herbal liqueur—and you’ve got a Black Manhattan. It’s darker, more mysterious, and boasts a complex flavor profile.
  • Greenpoint is a Brooklyn twist on the Manhattan. Add Chartreuse liqueur to the recipe and you have a vibrant and aromatic kick.
Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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