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Manhattan cocktail

A Manhattan is a cocktail made with rye whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth (proportions vary from a "sweet" 1:1 to a "dry" 4:1), and a dash of bitters, stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass, garnished with a Maraschino cherry with a stem.



  1. Combine ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a cherry.

The bitters are omitted by many barmen unless specifically requested. Sometimes juice from the cherry jar is added to the cocktail to add sweetness and color.

It is believed that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented at a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

Manhattans are traditionally made with Christian Brothers brandy rather than bourbon in Wisconsin and a few surrounding areas. Therefore, it is crucial to specify a bourbon Manhattan when travelling in these areas to avoid disappointment.

If made with Scotch whisky and dry vermouth, the drink is called a Rob Roy.

See also the Wikipedia Cocktail Guide.