Bold, Timeless, and Warming
Like many classic cocktail recipes, the history of The Manhattan is mired in differing accounts of its origin. Of the many stories, our favorite is the one linked back to the historic Manhattan Club in New York. The legend suggests that the cocktail was created for a party thrown by Lady Jennie Spencer-Churchill (mother of British PM Winston Churchill) for Samuel Tilden. Tilden is famously remembered as the 1876 presidential candidate who won the national popular vote, but lost the electoral college. Some of the details in this story don't quite add up, but we like to imagine many people were cooling the sting of a political defeat with Manhattan cocktails...kinda like we were in 2016.
Origin stories aside, the long-lasting nature of this recipe speaks to just how good the combination of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters truly is. The spicy bold rye is tempered with the gentle mouth feel and sweetness of vermouth, and the whole thing is supported from the additional spice of Angostura bitters. The short & stout nature of this cocktail makes it the perfect after dinner sipper. Oh, and they're incredibly easy to make!
We love making our Manhattans with our Burnside Oregon Oaked Rye Whiskey. At 92 proof, it's the perfect whiskey to cut through most vermouths and gives this classic a more modern and approachable flavor. Also, being a simple three ingredient cocktail means that the quality of each ingredient really matters. Do yourself a favor and opt for a higher quality vermouth like Carpano Antica or Cocchi di Torino.
Here's how to make a Manhattan Cocktail.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 thick orange peel
1 brandied cherry
Add your bitters, vermouth, and whiskey to a mixing glass. Add a large scoop of ice and stir gently with your bar spoon for 20-30 seconds. Strain contents of mixing glass into a coupe or small cocktail glass. Squeeze the orange peel over the drink to express the orange oil into the cocktail. Finish it all off by dropping a brandied cherry into the bottom of the glass.
For some fun variations, try swapping out the Angostura bitters for any bitters of your choice. For a more pronounced rye whiskey flavor, try making one with Big Bottom Delta Rye. It's also good to know that rye isn't your only choice. While a nice spicy rye whiskey is classic, try making one with an oakey bourbon or even our Cherry Bomb Whiskey!