I'll Take a Manhattan

by James Moore
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perfectmanhattanIf you’ve never had a Manhattan, you may be missing out on one of the great cocktails, a truly sophisticated drink that lives up to its name. I suppose the Martini is the most popular and famous of the two, but I prefer the warm, smooth, interesting flavors of a traditional Manhattan.

Of course, not all Manhattan’s are the same - every bartender (mixologist) seems to have his/her own version. At the risk of sounding a bit pretentious, it’s worth specifying a few things when ordering.

Try to request a Rye whiskey rather than Bourbon, it’s the original and frankly tastes better - a few favorites include: Russell’s Reserve, Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Hudson Manhattan Rye, Bulleit Rye, or Rittenhouse.

The rest of the recipe is simple –sweet vermouth, a splash of bitters, and a cherry; but make sure they stir, not shake your drink, otherwise you will wind up being served a cloudy, foamy cocktail. This silky smooth libation should be a clear amber color, and perfectly chilled.


Manhattans have a wonderful warming effect which makes them ideal for the fall and winter months and around the holidays. It’s an easy cocktail to make at home and since there are only a few components, it’s essential to use the best of each ingredient.

Here’s my favorite version – Cheers!

The Best Manhattan

2 1/2 ounces Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Vya (or Carpano Antica) sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Peychaud's (or Angostura) Bitters
1 Luxardo Marasca Cherry
1 twist orange peel

1. Combine whiskey, the sweet vermouth, and bitters with 3-4 ice cubes in a mixing glass.

2. Stir gently, don't bruise the spirits and cloud the drink, for about 90 seconds.

3. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass. Strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

4. Sip slowly and enjoy! 


James Moore has been a cooking enthusiast since childhood and started blogging as a way to share favorite recipes with friends and family. His site, Cook Like James has grown to include restaurants, cookbooks, wines, and favorite places.

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