A true classic and one of the time’s most enduring cocktails, the Manhattan remains the standard-bearer when it comes to mixed drinks. It’s what our father drinks. It’s what his father drank. And, if you have a cool girlfriend, it’s probably what she drinks–Martinis and Negroni are also acceptable.
While there is plenty of discussion about the origins of the Manhattan, popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City sometime in the mid 1870s. It was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by the mother of Winston Churchill in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. While the story may be fiction and there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called “Manhattan” and served in the New York City area, we happen to like the Churchill one.
A true fun fact about the drink is that it is a standard drink at almost every cafe, restaurant and local get together of locals on the small North Frisian island of Föhr off the coast of Germany. Apparently, many of the people of Föhr emigrated to Manhattan during deep sea fishing trips, took a liking to the drink, and brought it back to Föhr with them.
There are a ton of Manhattan variations out there, so it’s a fun base from which to begin honing your cocktail crafting knowledge. From Black, Blonde, and Cuban Manhattans to the Metropolitan (made with Brandy) and the Rob Roy (made with Scotch Whisky), the options for Manhattan variation feel almost endless.
- 2oz Rye Whisky
- 1/2oz sweet Vermouth
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 Maraschino cherry
Pour all the ingredients (minus the cherry) into a cocktail glass (we suggest adding a teaspoon of cherry juice while you’re at it). Now add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.