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Courtesy of Schiller’s Liquor Bar in New York City, this is “Professor” Jerry Thomas’s original recipe for the celebrated Manhattan cocktail. Working as a bartender and saloon owner in the mid- to late nineteenth century, Thomas was renowned for mixing drinks with great showmanship and is still considered the godfather of the New York cocktail craft.

What makes this recipe different from a traditional Manhattan is the proportion of sweet vermouth to rye whiskey and the addition of orange-flavored liqueur. These subtle variations give this cocktail a sweetness that makes it more palatable and complex.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 fl. oz. (23 ml) rye whiskey
  • 1 3/4 fl. oz. (53 ml) sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 fl. oz. (8 ml) Grand Marnier
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Ice as needed
  • 1 lemon twist for garnish

Directions:

Pour the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier and bitters into a mixing glass.

Add ice and stir well with a bar spoon for 40 to 45 revolutions.

Strain into a chilled 5-fl.-oz. (160-ml) martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist. Serves 1.

Adapted from Schiller’s Liquor Bar Cocktail Collection: The Bartender’s Guide, by Keith McNally & Richard Bubbico (Clarkson Potter, 2013).