You only need three main ingredients to make this classic bourbon Manhattan cocktail recipe at home. Jump to the Bourbon Manhattan Cocktail Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
You’ll need bourbon, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters. Then, if you want, finish it off with orange peel and a maraschino cherry for garnish.
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How to Make a Manhattan at Home
Not long ago, we sat and watched as a young mixologist painstakingly made us his take on a Manhattan. House-made bitters and vermouth were added. He stirred, never shook and the precision with which he used his personal zester, one that he has had for years was mesmerizing.
At home, we don’t make our own vermouth or bitters, not that we would want to (read: it would be pretty cool, though). Leaving the house-made stuff to the pros, we, instead, make this simple bourbon heavy recipe.
Recipe updated, originally posted February 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Classic Bourbon Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
You only need three main ingredients to make this classic bourbon Manhattan at home. You’ll need bourbon, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters. Then, if you want, finish it off with orange peel and a maraschino cherry for garnish.
You Will Need
2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 to 3 dashes aromatic bitters (we use Angostura)
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Orange peel, for garnish
1Fill a martini glass to the brim with ice so it chills while you make the Manhattan.
2Add whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters to a shaker or glass with a few ice cubes, and then stir or gently shake. Do not over do it, you do not want the ice to water down the drink. Discard ice from martini glass then strain Manhattan into the chilled glass and garnish with cherry and orange peel.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Find Angostura bitters at your local liqueur store or sometimes you can find it in the mixers section of the grocery store.
- While we used bourbon in this version, it is also popular to use rye whiskey.
- We like our Manhattan on the sweeter side, but if you prefer things on the dryer side, use 50/50 sweet vermouth to dry vermouth.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
I love me a great Classic Manhattan but NEVER with a Red No. 3 cherry. Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are the way to go. If you’ve never had them, ya need to. Also, I give a couple extra shakes of the bitters.
I agree that Luxado cherries are THE WAY TO GO! Nothing better in a Manhattan or a Rob Roy!
I’m a classic gin martini guy. But that looks so good I’m going to the liquor store and buy everything to make one !
I totally agree with you on the Classic Gin martini but I’m really enjoying these Manhattans as of late. Cheers Joe!
So, I’ve always been a classic gin martini girl, my dear husband turned me on to g&t’s for summer ( so refreshing!) and my sweet dad taught me a Manhattan just like this for winter (to warm the soul ?).
Great recipe. Got hooked last year in Manhattan. Also had a Gotham there. It’s a Manhattan with a 1/2oz of Kalhua added. Super yum
I savour, cause I discovered exactly what I used to
be looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt!
God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye
I went to Spec’s and they had all kind of flavored bitters except plain bitters. I bought the lemon flavor. Could’ve had peach, lime, orange, cherry (which cost more?).
But I went with lemon. No regrets. Doesn’t really matter what the flavor, gotta have bitters in there somewhere.
Not. A. Purist.
I love my Manhattan but find it more satisfying without adding bitters. I use Wild Turkey 101, sweet vermouth and mariachio cherry and a drop of cherry juice.
Is there a specific name for a Manhattan without bitters as I describe?
You can never go wrong with the classics.
John — no kidding!
Love this recipe. I hate sugary cocktails, so anything with bitters is a must-try for me. Bonus: very sophisticated!
That looks divine. I haven’t had a Manhattan in some time. Now, I’m thinking I need to correct that. I’m printing!