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When we are talking about the classic cocktails along the likes of the Moscow Mule or a Rusty Nail, it would be a true mixology crime to leave out the famed Manhattan. It reputation kind of got smeared, or shifted at least, due to the Sex and the City as it somehow got confused for a girly or a feminine drink, but it is long from it. Even just based on the kick of it as the Manhattan recipe consists of only three alcoholic drinks. But also because of its longevity, taste, and serving style. Truly, a perfect Manhattan needs to be in every mixer’s arsenal, whether he is just dipping its toes in the water or planning on going all in.
Manhattan Cocktail History
One of the oldest cocktails, reimbursing the fact that it is a true classic, Manhattan has been around since the 1860s. As the legend states, when Vermouth came from Europe to the United States, people started experimenting with it and added what we on this continent like the most – whiskey. There are several exact stories about the origin of the cocktail, but none of them are confirmed or all that interesting. Either was the Manhattan cocktail first made in a bar named that way, or in another bar located in that part of New York.
But the taste of the Manhattan drink makes up for the lack of a cool origin story and name meaning like, for instance, the French 75 has.
– Rye whiskey or bourbon
– Maraschino cherry
Now to the surprisingly simple act of how to make a Manhattan cocktail. Since only three major ingredients are in the Manhattan, and all of them are alcoholic, you won’t need a shaker, just a mixing glass. Another reason why the Manhattan is a classic and easy to make, as shaking can seem complicated while stirring definitely is not.
But before you even approach the mixing table you should take a cocktail glass, in which you’ll serve the drink, and chill it. Either by placing it in the freezer or by putting ice cubes in it, whichever works for you.
So for the actual fruition of the Manhattan recipe take the mixing glass and pour two and a half ounces of rye whiskey in it. Now, you can use bourbon instead of rye whiskey like a lot of people do, and it’s not a sinful deviation from the recipe, as some people prefer the sweeter taste which the corn-based bourbon delivers.
Next step of the Manhattan recipe is to add three-quarters of an ounce of Vermouth, which is aromatized, fortified wine. Since you’ll be using so little of it, make sure you store the drink in the freezer as it is still wine and will go bad otherwise.
The third alcoholic drink in the mix are bitters, which might confuse some people as it is not that popular of a drink (on its own), but it is available in basically any store. Angostura Aromatic Bitters are the most common and quite possibly the best ones. Just add two dashes of the drink to the mixing glass. It is a strong beverage, so its effect will be felt even though it looks like a small amount.
Add ice to the mixing glass so that it peaks just above the level of the drink, and proceed to gently but consistently stir it for around 25 seconds.
Take the cocktail glass and make it free of ice and water if you didn’t chill it in the freezer. Put a strainer on the mixing glass and proceed to pour the Manhattan in the cocktail glass and bask in its glorious color. But it still isn’t a proper Manhattan cocktail, you’ll need to add a Maraschino cherry for garnish, then it is complete, simple as that.
The Manhattan recipe surely will be one of your favorites aftea fewust few tries as it is as delicious and filled with character as it is easy to make.