Why hello there, everyone!
For this weel’s Throwback Thursday Classic Cocktail we are diving deep to bring you a recipe for one of the most beloved cocktails of all : The Manhattan.
Now, although Manhattan recipes are a dime a dozen on the interwebs, we (and by “we” we mean KellyAtTheBar and GaryAtTheBar) have spent hours toiling away with different recipes, tweaking ingredients, and painstakingly taste testing, to make sure we bring you The Best of The Best. It’s a tough gig, but someone has to do it…
So, without further ado, we give you, The Manhattan Recipe To End All Manhattan Recipes!
To give you a little bit of history, The Manhattan got its name from The Manhattan Club in New York City, where the drink was invented at a banquet in the 1870s. And for some extra trivia points: the banquet was hosted by Winston Churchill’s mother! Take that one to the bank, my friends.
The original drink was very simple (and the definition of a traditional “cocktail”): a mixture of American Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, and Angostura Bitters. A maraschino cherry quickly became the most commonly used garnish for the drink.
Now, that is all well and good, but as we have said before, we strive for a higher degree of excellence here at The Woman At The Bar, so we had to add a little bit of pizzazz into this baby. SO, for The Woman At The Bar’s Manhattan Special, you will need:
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 oz bourbon (we prefer Bulleit)
- 2/3 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 scruplespoon (1/8th tspn) Zwack
- 1/2 tspn Luxardo liqueur
- 1/2 tspn Averna amaro liqueur *(see note below)
- 1-2 maraschino cherries, for garnish
Gather all of your ingredients plus your jiggers, measuring spoons, shaker glass, strainer, bar spoon, and serving glass (preferably a coupe).
(To start, we apologize for our substandard pictures–we are on the move this week, so we had to do a bit of improvisation)
First things first, place your two dashes of bitters directly into the bottom of your shaker glass. Remember to hold your bitters bottle vertically, directly over the glass. One vigorous shake is equal to one dash.
Next, add in your 2 oz bourbon. As always, we prefer to use Bulleit for this drink.
It should be noted that while bourbon is the traditional liquor used in the Manhattan, some people to prefer rye. If that is your preference, you may substitute it here, but we stand by our bourbon recommendation.
Now add in your 2/3 oz of vermouth. Remember that vermouth comes two ways, sweet and dry, and make sure you are using sweet (rouge) vermouth for this drink–if you use dry vermouth it will be disgusting.
Next, add in your scruplespoon (1/8th teaspoon) of Zwack. All of the liqueurs we add in this drink are used in very small quantities to add depth and body to the drink, without overwhelming the flavor. The point of a Manhattan is to taste the bourbon, you don’t want to go overboard on your accents and overpower the drink.
Now add in your 1/2 tspn each of Luxardo and Amaro.
*Averna is a positively delicious liqueur that we were JUST introduced to by the ever wonderful MotherAtTheBar. Averna is a liqueur in the amaro family, which means “bitter” in Italian. Unlike petite bitters, Averna is what is known as a “grand bitter” which is far less concentrated and, well, bitter, than its relatives. Other liqueurs in this family include Aperol and Campari. We will be highlighting Averna in this Friday’s liquor spotlight, but for now suffice it to say that this stuff is absolutely amazing. It is fairly common and can be found at most large liquor stores, or chains like BevMo.
Now, fill your shaker glass 3/4 full of ice, and begin to stir with your bar spoon. You want to stir for about 45-60 seconds, until the ice has fully melted down to the liquor line.
Now strain that baby into your glass, add 1,2, or more cherries (you do you, everyone!) and there you have it! The most delicious Manhattan you have ever tasted–we would stake our reputation on it!
So sit back, relax, and treat yourself to a night in which you pretend to be Don Draper, drinking away your worries with this delectably classy cocktail.