Perfect Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

A perfect Manhattan cocktail made with rye whiskey, both sweet and dry vermouth, bitters, orange, and sometimes a cherry.

The perfect Manhattan cocktail, possibly my favorite cocktail and the greatest concoction of all time. There are few different stories behind how the Manhattan first originated, but I think it’s safe to say it is one of the five borough cocktails that came out of New York in the mid 1800’s.

Perfect Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

I’ve tried some interesting spins in the Manhattan, but this is my tried and true go-to combo. Traditionally, a Manhattan is made with rye whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters, but I prefer Manhattans made “perfect,” which means equal parts of both sweet and dry vermouth.

You can serve a perfect Manhattan straight up or on the rocks if you prefer, but I suggest straight up in a coupe glass with a luxardo cherry and orange peel garnish. One more quick pro tip before I go, chill your glass in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will keep you extra chilled, of course.

Perfect Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

The Perfect Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x



  • 3 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Luxardo cherry for garnish
  • Orange peel (optional)


  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Twist and squeeze the orange peel over the cocktail to release the oils. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel and drop it into the cocktail. Garnish with 1 cherry and serve immediately.