It’s been a tiring week; you are out with friends to have fun. Or maybe you are at home, trying to unwind and not let the week get to you. What would your drink of choice be? If you have not yet found the perfect one, allow us to introduce you to one of the best whiskey concoctions – the Manhattan drink.
Manhattan drink is one of the best cocktails to date. Perfect for a night out and a brunch sneak-in, it is the It Girl of drinks now. If you are not into being an It Girl, don’t worry, one sip and you will understand what we are talking about.
Made with whiskey, the Manhattan drink is one of the chicest and most sophisticated drinks to ever come out of the world of alcohol.
It is such a versatile and dynamic drink! You have the vanilla and oak from the bourbon, the herbal details from the bitters and the spicy and sweet tango from the vermouth.
It is indeed a classic, and we would recommend it to everyone who is here for a good time.
The history of Manhattan Cocktail
You’d be surprised to know that the Manhattan drink is one of the earliest cocktails, it was invented in the 1870s! Most cocktails emerged during the 1920s-30s, so this is indeed one of the oldest predecessors to the entirety of cocktails.
It is believed that this drink was conceived in a club called The Manhattan Club in New York City, hence it has been named that way.
According to the International Bartender Association, these are the official ingredients in a classic Manhattan cocktail drink –
- Rye whiskey – it adds the much-needed spice and edge to your Manhattan classic and will set the tone for your drink
- Sweet red vermouth – Sweet red Vermouth will make your drink have the right hint of sweetness and spice
- Angostura bitters – they help give the herby notes to the drink that will make your throat feel the drink
- Luxardo cocktail cherry for garnishing – dark, almost black, these cherries are truly the cherry on top, quite literally so!
What are Angostura bitters?
If you like your cocktails bitter, you must have come across Angostura bitters before. They add complex undertones that are parts bitter and parts herby. You can feel the kick in the cocktail once you down it, and it adds the much-needed punctuation at the end.
If you want to know more about the Angostura flavour profile, you can also try the Old Fashioned, Champagne cocktail and even the Trinidad Sour.
These bitter are made of many spices and herbs and will leave you wondering what all has gone in your cocktail!
Vermouth is a kind of fortified wine and it adds the right notes of punctuation to your Manhattan drink. If you don’t have Vermouth, you can use other fortified wines such as Port, Sherry or even Madeira.
There are two types of Vermouth, sweet and dry. The sweet one is usually red and the dry one is usually white.
Sweet vermouth is sweet and spicy and it tastes a little bitter and fresh. It is used in many cocktails such as Manhattan, Negroni, and Americano. Dry vermouth on the other hand is famous for its use in a Classic martini or a Dirty martini because it tastes like dry white wine.
How to make a Manhattan Cocktail
If you are hosting a party and want to make a Manhattan cocktail for your friends, we have the perfect recipe for you to follow through and emerge as a perfect host.
This is a three-ingredient cocktail, so it is fairly easy. All you need to do is stir all your ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass. You need to invest in good cocktail mixing glasses so that you look suave while doing it and also do it the right way. They are good long-term investments as well because you can use them for Martinis as well.
If you don’t have it, that is cool as well, just use any container and use a strainer. However, using a cocktail mixing glass is going to make you look cool.
The most important part is, how much to mix into each ingredient. The perfect way to make a classic Manhattan drink is to remember the ratio – two parts whiskey, one-part sweet vermouth and bitters. Don’t stir it, just shake it. All you have to do is take a sip, or two and then let the magic of Manhattan sweep you off your feet.
If you don’t have a brandied cherry, you can use a lemon twist as well. A lot of seasoned drinkers even prefer it over cherries.
Manhattan cocktail variations
If you don’t have the original ingredients, you don’t need to fret. Many Manhattan cocktail variations have a similar effect and taste as good if not better than the original.
- Bourbon Manhattan – You can use Bourbon if you or your guests prefer a sweeter Manhattan. The small hints of oak and vanilla are a plus.
- Brandy Manhattan – If you are all about sophistication, you can add that twist to this cocktail using Cognac.
- Black Manhattan – If you want sweeter vermouth as an aftertaste, you can go for an Italian amaro.
- Rob Roy – Are you all about showcasing your masculinity? How about making your Manhattan cocktail with Scotch?
- Martinez – This is the perfect addition to any party or a night out with friends. You can make your Manhattan cocktail with gin, preferably the Maraschino liqueur.
- Perfect Manhattan – Just find the perfect split ratio of dry and sweet vermouth for your drink and there you go, the perfect Manhattan.
If you are in New York, we also recommend that you go ahead and ask for a Red Hook or a Brooklyn to find out what new variation the birthplace of the Manhattan cocktail has come up with.