Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Now I’m not trying to confuse the world or freak everyone out but I’m posting another Manhattan cocktail recipe. I guess you know I’m obsessed when I cover one drink three times. Not to be confused with the perfect Manhattan, which uses both sweet and dry vermouth. The classic Manhattan cocktail only uses sweet vermouth.

So although I think all Manhattans are “perfect”… a true Manhattan only contains sweet vermouth, bitters, and whiskey or bourbon. I’ll have to admit, I think I’ve turned into a bit of a Manhattan snob. Too much vermouth and you can begin to taste it. I go very light on the vermouth so it’s subtle but compliments the bourbon just enough.

I’ve also been experimenting with adding a splash of water. When I say a splash I mean a VERY small splash. When I originally heard this concept my initial reaction was why water down the bourbon? Am I not manly if I start adding water to my drinks? I consulted the Google Gods per usual and found some interesting results, one article even referred to the outcome as some kind of “magic.”

Most attributed to water enhancing the aroma and subtle flavors of bourbon by actually changing the characteristics of it. The long and the short of it, basically the water reduces the burn effect and allows you to taste more of the natural bourbon flavors. I would have to agree with this. So next time someone calls you out for adding water to bourbon or whiskey make sure you tell them it’s magic.

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 3 oz bourbon
  • ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes angostura bitters
  • Splash of water (optional)
  • Garnish with 2 cherries
  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker or glass with ice.
  2. Stir vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with 2-3 cherries and serve immediately.


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