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Classic Manhattan Cocktail

This Manhattan cocktail isn’t to be confused with the contemporary Manhattan cocktail (usually 3 ounces of bourbon to 1 1/2 ounces of vermouth plus bitters and cherries). This classic recipe first appeared in the latter part of the nineteenth century and is referenced in later editions of How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant’s Companion as well as Harry Johnson’s 1882 Bartenders’ Manual. This forgotten formula has a higher ratio of sweet vermouth to rye whiskey, with an accent of CuraƧao and Boker’s bitters, served straight up with a lemon twist. Cherries in Manhattans came later as the mixture evolved into a different cocktail. The subtle mingling of flavors in this version illustrate an older style of drink making.–Jason Kosmas

LC Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention Note

We’re so uncouth, we didn’t even realize there was such a thing as a “mixing glass” until we set about to mix this drink for ourselves. Yet necessity truly is the mother of invention, especially when a Manhattan cocktail is on the line. We think you’ll manage to jury-rig something, too.

Classic Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 3 M
  • 3 M
  • Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces 100-proof rye whiskey, such as Rittenhouse
  • 1 3/4 ounces sweet vermouth, such as Dolin Rouge
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 lemon twist, for garnish

Directions

  • 1. Pour the whiskey, vermouth, liqueur, and bitters into a mixing glass. Add large cold ice cubes and stir for 40 revolutions.
  • 2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist. Drink the Manhattan post haste.
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