Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

The Manhattan first appeared in the late 19th century at the  Manhattan Club in New York City. The story narrated that Iain Marshall created the cocktail for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill) to honor presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. 

In the middle of the 20th century, it became one of the signature cocktails in every bar and restaurant worldwide. The Manhattan early recipe includes whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters

Over time, the bartenders have come up with many cocktail variations. The whiskey choice expands with different types and brands. Rye and bourbon are two common types of used whiskey. Rye is spicier when compared with bourbon, which makes it a better choice to go with this cocktail, but you can use whatever you prefer.

The Manhattan cocktail suits various settings and occasions, such as cocktail parties, fine dining, celebrations, weekend gatherings, etc. Its rich, intense flavors and sophisticated presentation make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. 

Manhattan Recipe

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

The Manhattan is one of the classic cocktails that has stood the test of time. It has balanced American whiskey, Italian vermouth, and fragrant bitters to create the liquor's bitterness and aromatic complexity. If you're looking for the traditional recipe to make this cocktail at home, check out the article below. 
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 drink


  • Mixing Glass
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Jigger
  • Strainer


  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Sweet vermouth often referred as Italian vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Ice
  • Maraschino cherry or Orange peel


  • Using a jigger, measure the ratio of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.
    2 oz Whiskey, 1 oz Sweet vermouth, 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Add ice to the prepared glass.
  • Pour the measured whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters into the mixing glass.
  • Gently stir the mixture for 15-20 seconds until you reach adequate dilution to ensure the cocktail is well-mixed.
  • Use a strainer over the mixing glass to strain the Manhattan into your glass to separate the liquid from the ice.
  • Garnish your cocktail with a maraschino cherry or a twist of orange peel.
    Maraschino cherry or Orange peel



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Choose high-quality whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters to have the perfect final flavor of the cocktail.
  • Chill your glass in the fridge for a few minutes in advance. Serve the cocktail in a chilled glass, which helps keep the Manhattan cold longer and enhances its visual appeal.
  • Balancing the classic 2:1 ratio of whiskey to sweet vermouth to have a harmonious blend of flavors.
  • Stirring the cocktail is better than shaking; it helps maintain a silky texture and properly dilute the cocktail. 
Keyword Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

How does Manhattan taste? 

A well-made Manhattan cocktail is a balance of sweet and robust whiskey flavors; the taste has a slight bitterness with aromatic complexity. The taste of a Manhattan comes from the sweet vermouth’s sweetness, the spicy whiskey flavor with hints of vanilla, caramel, and oak (based on the type of whiskey used), and herbal notes of  Angostura bitters. When you bring the glass to your lips, you will be impressed with the pleasant aroma of the whiskey and the bitters.

What is the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan?

Both Old Fashioned and the Manhattan are beloved classic cocktails, but some key aspects distinguish them:

CriteriaOld FashionedManhattan
IngredientWhiskey (bourbon or rye), sugar, Angostura bittersWhiskey (rye or bourbon), sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters
Preparation methodMuddling, stirring with iceStirring with ice, strained into a chilled glass
FlavorMinimal ingredients; focused on the whiskeyBalanced, complex with the vermouth and bitters
StrengthStrongSlightly smoother

The drink is perfect for those who want to experiment with the nuanced flavors of whiskey and a well-balanced, classic cocktail. Now it’s time to make your own delicious Manhattan cocktails to impress your guests or enjoy yourself with a delightful sip at home.