How To Make A Manhattan

If you like whiskey - specifically bourbon or rye - the Manhattan is the drink for you.

With a name like Manhattan, this better be a good cocktail. The thing is, it isn’t. It’s a great one. If you like whiskey - specifically bourbon or rye - this is the drink for you. It’s an absolute classic, and just about any bartender should be able to make a decent one. There are also plenty of variations you can stumble into by switching up one or two of the ingredients - but we’re going to walk you through how to make a standard version, so that you can one day offer your dinner guests or the person fixing your wifi router a casual, elegant Manhattan.

How It Tastes: Strong, Rich, Pretty Much Like Whiskey

Drink If You Like:Old Fashioned, Rob Roy

How To Make A Manhattan image

photo credit: Mark Weatherford

The Manhattan

You’ll Need:

  • Ice

  • Martini glass, coupe, or rocks glass

  • 2.25 ounces Bourbon or Rye

  • .75 ounces sweet vermouth

  • 4 dashes angostura bitters

  • Lemon twist or cherries for garnish

Step One: Bitters

Find a mixing glass, and add four dashes of Angostura bitters. These are, essentially, your default bitters when making cocktails, and you can find them at a lot of liquor and grocery stores.

Step Two: Sweet Vermouth

One thing you should know is that some sweet vermouth is slightly sweeter than other sweet vermouth. But typically, three quarters of an ounce is just right. So go ahead and add .75 ounce sweet vermouth to your mixing glass. Once you’re finished, put the cap back on your vermouth, and return it to the fridge it in the fridge. (Some rules were made to be broken, but Rule No. 6 was not.)

Step Three: Whiskey

Next, you have a decision to make. Do you want a Manhattan with bourbon or rye? Some people say bourbon is a little sweeter due to the fact that it’s made from at least 51% corn, and some people say rye is a bit spicier because it’s made from at least 51% rye. Traditionally, a Manhattan is made with rye, so that’s usually what we go with. Add 2.25 ounces to your mixing glass.

Step Four: Stir

Add at least eight decent-sized ice cubes to your mixing glass, then stir everything in a circular motion for about twenty seconds. Your cocktail should increase in volume. That’s just water, and it’s a good thing - because it’s going to make all two-plus ounces of your whiskey a whole lot more chuggable. Sorry, drinkable. Now, strain your Manhattan into a martini glass or coupe. (Drinking a Manhattan on the rocks is also completely normal and fine.) As for your garnish, use a preserved cherry - but preferably not one of the neon-red ones you see on sundaes. (We like these ones.) A lemon twist or orange twist is also more than acceptable.

Suggested Reading

How To Make A Margarita image

How To Make A Margarita

We have strong feelings about the ideal Margarita. Here’s how it’s done.

The Tools You Need To Make Better Cocktails At Home image

Whether you just want a good drink or you want to bartend like a professional, here’s the equipment we recommend.

How To Make A Martini image

You won’t find a better cocktail with fewer ingredients than the Martini.

How To Make A Whiskey Sour image

“Sour mix” (the pre-made stuff) gives this drink a bad name. Here’s how to make a world-class Whiskey Sour instead.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store