Classic Manhattan Cocktail

The Classic Manhattan Cocktail blends sweet vermouth with bitters and the strength of a Rye whiskey to create a boozy and delicious drink.

Classic Manhattan Cocktail

I am a Bourbon whiskey type of guy so if you’re serving any type of whiskey — whether it’s a Rye whiskey, Scotch whiskey, Single Malt whiskey or even a Japanese whiskey — I am all in. This particular cocktail recipe is my absolute favorite so I had to figure out how to make this the “right” way.

Classic Manhattan Cocktail

History seems to suggest that the Manhattan cocktail originated at a New York club called the Manhattan Club in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet in honor of presidential candidate Samuel Tilden.

This isn’t a drink for the fainthearted so if you enjoy cocktails that are boozy, this Manhattan Cocktail recipe will do the job. The Classic Manhattan Cocktail seems to taste better with Rye whiskeys so if you’re not familiar with the differences in the whiskey profiles I would start with a Rye whiskey and go from there (if you choose to try the other types).

Classic Manhattan Cocktail

What makes this cocktail so strong is that everything mixed into this drink has a high percentage of alcohol. The mixture of the sweet vermouth and bitters will mask the strength of the Rye whiskey and that is what makes this drink so dangerous — but it tastes fantastic!

When you want to get your night going in the right direction give this Manhattan Cocktail a try and you can thank me later. Cheers!

Check out a few more boozy cocktail recipes:

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Classic Manhattan Cocktail

Classic Manhattan Cocktail

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Eric
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


The Classic Manhattan blends sweet vermouth with bitters and the strength of a Rye whiskey to create a boozy and delicious cocktail.


Units Scale
  • 4 oz. Rye Whiskey
  • 2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 4 Dash Angostura Bitters
  • 2 Dash Orange Bitters
  • Black Cherry Garnish


  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Stir (don’t shake).
  2. Add 1/2 cup ice and stir for 30 seconds or more.
  3. Pour strained cocktail ingredients into cocktail glass making sure no ice goes into the cocktail glass.
  4. Add black cherry as garish.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 162
  • Fat: 0g

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  1. My Dad always requested Old Fitzgerald for his Manhattans. Unfortunately, Old Fitz is limited every year so you have to act fast and have a big wallet. I doubt you could order it at most bars or restaurants today but back then it was always available.