The Manhattan

by Will on January 8, 2011

  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon, rye, or Canadian whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients in ice, serve straight up with a cherry

Many in the cocktail set say that this should only properly be made with an American whiskey. I think such narrow provincialism has no place in the modern world, and generally use Canadian Club. But I’ve also had great success using Old Overholt rye whiskey. And there are many good bourbons on the market these days.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm

We like Canadian Club because it’s Don Draper’s whiskey of choice!


Marsha January 12, 2011 at 2:30 am

Thank you for the opportunity to watch and listen to the opening scenes of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. I too hear Gershwin in my head when I’m there. I think the important thing for me is to make sure my Manhattan’s aren’t as large as they are in the bars as I could be wasted before I know what’s hit me. Mom


Spencer Hawkins December 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I’m going to make one of these tonight. Any tips on how much a dash is? Also, what about using orange bitters?


Will December 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm

The imperative to use Angostura bitters in this drink, and not any other kind, is a categorical one. Under no circumstances should orange bitters be substituted. I am actually going to take this opportunity to say that the very concept of “orange bitters” is misleading: every brand is different (I like Regan’s No. 6, but others go for sweeter brands). There is simply nothing quite like Angostura bitters, and there is no excuse not to have them on hand, since they are stocked at most Safeways nowadays, as well as at BevMo.

As for interpretation of “dashes”, we are not strict constructionists with regard to this. I find that the drink benefits from as many as five or six vigorous shakes of bitters. Others like a bit less. There is also a variance between the dash that comes out of a full bottle, and that which comes out of a bottle with some capacity (the full bottle gives you a smaller dash). Attention must be paid to suchlike.

Good bibations to you!


Spencer Hawkins December 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

It sounds like you are as precise with dashes poured as with dashes typed. I will head to my Kroger or other store for the Angostura, and drink the whiskey straight for now.


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