I feel like every cocktail I’ve created here on the blog has been around my own personal favorite flavors. From a delicious strawberry margarita, to a simple yet delicious champagne cocktail, and of course, mojitos. After working at a bar for many many years during college and even afterwards (hey the money is great, it’s hard to say no) I learned that the Manhattan is one seriously popular cocktail.
I thought I’d create an elevated version and swapping out those gross neon red maraschino cherries with the superior version. The incredibly delicious, bourbon soaked cherries. They’re like candy and add the perfect finishing touch to what’s truly a very basic and simple three ingredient cocktail. Plus, serving it over an ice sphere helps too. I actually made the spheres with water balloons. Fill them up and freeze, done. Greatest trick ever. No need for fancy molds here. But if you want, I also have these sphere ice molds that are super easy to use if this is something you may use often! While a Manhattan is traditionally served neat with no ice, while working at a bar, this was often asked to be served on the rocks. It’s just a preference, but if you’re going traditional, neat is the way to go with this cocktail.
Classic Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
I believe everyone should know how to make a good cocktail. And one that’s easy and simple to create at home with just a few ingredients. This Manhattan cocktail is one you should add to the short list. It’s easy, many people enjoy it, and your friends will be impressed that you can whip this up. Keep bitters and sweet vermouth on hand as bar cart essentials and always keep a great whiskey on stand by. You’ll be making the best Manhattan cocktails for friends in seconds! Here’s how to do it.
Ingredients For A Manhattan
- A few dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 oz of Dolin Vermouth Rouge, any sweet red vermouth will work
- 2 oz Makers Mark, or your favorite whiskey
- Bourbon soaked cherries, I like the Luxardo brand ones.
This is the easiest cocktail. Truly so simple. All you do is add the ingredients, minus the garnish, to a rocks glass. If using ice, take a spoon and spin the ice in the cocktail so everything is combined. Then garnish with your bourbon-soaked cherries.
Manhattan Drink vs Old Fashioned
This was always one I would get mixed up on when I was a cocktail waitress when it came to which one of these got what garnish. The way I remembered it was Manhattan is like The Big Apple, so it gets a big cherry. Which then meant, the Old Fashioned got the orange. That was the only way I could remember it. The cocktails are both so similar. A Manhattan is sweetened up with the red vermouth, while the Old Fashioned relies on a sugar cube. Personally, I prefer a Manhattan with the vermouth. I just really enjoy the flavor of it.
However, there are oftentimes really fun variations to the Old Fashioned as it’s a simpler sweetener with just sugar. I’ve created countless Old Fashions on the blog but have yet to make the classic. Instead, maybe try this mandarin orange Old Fashioned, the s’mores Old Fashioned perfect for the holidays, or the fig Old Fashioned that uses a beautiful sliced fig for garnish.
Classic Manhattan Cocktail
- 3 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 oz Dolin Vermouth Rouge sweet red vermouth
- 2 oz Makers Mark or your favorite whiskey
- Garnish with 3 bourbon soaked cherries skewered
- Add bitters, vermouth and whiskey to a glass and serve neat.You can always serve over ice, it's simply a preference. Classic is without. If using an ice cube, add everything to the glass, then stir with a cocktail spoon. Then garnish with bourbon soaked cherries.
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