There’s an undeniable allure to the Manhattan. As a cocktail, it’s the embodiment of refined simplicity. Rooted in the 19th-century, it stands out as a testament to the timeless charm of whiskey cocktails. Born in the Manhattan Club of New York City, its creation is often credited to Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome, the mother of Sir Winston Churchill. However, like many vintage cocktails, its true origins remain a mystery.
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It’s not the history of the Manhattan that’s the focus of our blog today, but rather the personal twist on this classic cocktail that I’ve come to adore. A perfectly balanced blend of sweet, strong, and bitter, it’s a cocktail that has evolved over time and can be tailored to suit any palate.
The Manhattan is a cocktail that typically invites rye whiskey to the table. However, my version invites Maker’s Mark bourbon instead. With its full-bodied flavor and characteristic sweet notes, this bourbon effortlessly replaces the traditionally used rye. The result? A gentler, more nuanced cocktail with hints of caramel and vanilla from the bourbon that blend harmoniously with the other ingredients.
Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth is the next star of my personal Manhattan. Rich, complex, and worth every penny, it transforms the cocktail with its lush herbal notes and hints of vanilla. Instead of a balancing act, the sweet vermouth in this cocktail acts as an enhancer, perfectly complementing the sweet bourbon and making every sip a delectable experience.
But let’s not forget the bitters. These little concoctions are the seasoning in our cocktail, bringing out the best in all its components. In my Manhattan, I use a combination of Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. The Angostura bitters add depth with their botanical, slightly sweet, and spicy flavors. In contrast, the Peychaud’s bitters, with their anise and mint notes, provide a bright counterpoint, rounding out the complexity of this cocktail.
Finally, there’s the cherry on top, or rather in the glass – a Luxardo cherry. Adding a splash of the rich, dark juice from the cherry introduces a hint of tart sweetness that perfectly rounds off this well-crafted cocktail.
So, there you have it – my personal spin on the classic Manhattan. A touch sweet, delightfully herbal, and charmingly complex, it’s a drink that embodies my taste and love for the art of mixology. This is a cocktail every budding bartender should master and every cocktail lover should savor. And remember, the best Manhattan is always the one you make yourself.
- 2 oz Bourbon Maker's Mark
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth Carpano Antica Formula
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- 1 Luxardo Cherry to garnish
- In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters
- Add crushed ice to the glass.
- Stir the ingredients together until well mixed.
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with a Luxardo cherry, adding a bar spoon of the juice into the drink.
- Enjoy my favorite Manhattan responsibly.