The Story Behind The Perfect Manhattan with Johnnie Walker Black Label

“Perfect” might seem like a subjective descriptor when discussing cocktails, but the term actually has a technical definition. In drinks that include vermouth, like the Manhattan, ordering a Perfect version will prompt your bartender to use equal parts sweet and dry vermouth in place of the recipe’s traditional 1 ounce of a single style of fortified wine.

When mixing up a Manhattan with Scotch, this proves to be the… perfect twist. Dry vermouth highlights the earthy notes in Johnnie Walker Black and reins in some of the sweetness of the classic version. Opting for an orange twist instead of a cocktail cherry also helps brighten the flavors, and brings all ingredients together seamlessly.

Find out how to make the Perfect Johnnie Walker Black Manhattan in the video below.

This article is part of a series, Art of the Riff, sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Discover more about Scotch cocktails here!


  • 1 1/2 ounces Johnnie Walker Black
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Orange twist garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.

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Updated: 2022-06-21

Perfect Manhattan with Johnnie Walker Black Label Recipe Video