The Story Behind The Perfect Manhattan

While it’s somewhat of a consensus that the Manhattan originated in the 1880s, some believe the eponymous Manhattan Club is where the cocktail was first made, while others insist that it was the creation of a man named Black who owned an establishment on Broadway. Either way, the mystery of the Manhattan adds to its debonair character, evoking images of posh 19th century New York socialites wetting their beaks in smoke-filled rooms.

Traditional Manhattans are made with rye whiskey, but modernized versions use bourbon for a slightly sweeter kick. For this recipe, we’re keeping it classic. The boldness of the rye is cut by the brightness of a good garnish — be it a syrupy maraschino cherry or a zesty orange peel. Need the right sweet vermouth? See our picks for the best vermouth for Manhattans!


  • 2 oz 100-proof rye whiskey
  • ½ oz Dry vermouth
  • ½ oz Sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino cherry or orange zest


  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  3. Garnish with orange zest or a high-quality maraschino cherry.

Rate This Recipe:

(331 votes)

Yield: 1
Updated: 2024-05-07

The Perfect Manhattan Recipe