Classic Manhattan

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 1 Serves 1.
This cocktail made its debut at New York's Manhattan Club at a banquet given by Lady Jenny Churchill for Samuel Tilden, the lawyer who prosecuted the infamous Tweed Ring in the 1870s. Unlike the dry martini, which will be a success if you simply combine a decent amount of a good London dry gin with a splash of your favorite dry vermouth, the Manhattan is a challenge to mix because its ratio of whiskey to vermouth is absolutely critical. Results also depend on the type of whiskey you use. Although blended Canadian whiskey works fairly well, using straight rye or bourbon whiskey will produce a superior beverage.


  • 2.5 oz. rye, bourbon or blended Canadian whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish


Pour the whiskey, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.
Serves 1.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Guides, The Bar Guide, by Ray Foley (Time-Life Books, 1999).