my best manhattan recipe

My Favorite Manhattan

You order a Manhattan, and the bartender grabs a dusty, room temperature bottle of Martini & Rossi vermouth. That usually means two things: 1. You should have ordered a beer, and 2. That cocktail is going to suck. I’ve learned my lesson: Make Manhattans at home!

P.S. Yes, you should refrigerate your vermouth.

For me, the best Manhattan recipe isn’t about the whiskey. Sure, you should start with a halfway decent rye or bourbon, but it’s really the supporting characters that make or break it. You have…

The Vermouth

I have to thank my friend Matt for introducing me to Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, a semi-sweet, rich vermouth that runs $18.99 per 750mL at Binny’s. That’s roughly double the price of your baseline vermouths, but it’s worth it, I swear! Cocchi’s slightly bitter undertone pairs really nicely with…

The Garnish

If you don’t like cherry, leave now. Or maybe reconsider. Not all cherries/cherry flavors are created equal. Leave behind those memories of gagging on cherry-flavored cough syrup and treat yourself to some Luxardo maraschino cherries. They’re packed in a thick, decadent syrup, some of which always makes its way into my drink for a touch more sweetness. As if that wasn’t enough cherry, the last component is…

The Bitters

Just kidding. Despite the name, these Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters from Bittercube don’t taste much like cherry. They sure are delicious, though! Notes of cocoa and bitter almonds echo the cocoa flavor in the Cocchi, and who doesn’t like a little vanilla-cherry action?

Put it all together, and you get…

rittenhouse rye luxardo maraschino cherries cocchi vermouth

My Favorite Manhattan Recipe

  • 2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye*
  • 1 ounce Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
  • 3 to 5 drops Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
  • Luxardo maraschino cherry

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add rye, vermouth, and bitters. Stir for about 30 seconds. (I use a plastic chopstick decorated with little panda faces.) Strain into a chilled martini glass. Finally, scoop a Luxardo cherry AND a bit of syrup from the jar and gently plop it into the glass.

*I usually go for rye because I like a little bite, but sometimes I pour bourbon if I’m in the mood for a sweeter Manhattan.

my best manhattan recipe

luxardo cherry syrup

my best manhattan recipe

drinking a manhattan

I’m telling you, it is SO WORTH IT to invest in good Manhattan components. Your chill evenings at home will thank you. Cheers and happy mixing!

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Manhattan

  1. Yeah! The luxardo cherries are great! We may make this this weekend. We are also partial to orange bitters and orange peel..,


  2. Just discovered your blog searching for Mandy tee reviews (thanks!), and you’ve inspired me to try the Plantain tee (double thanks!!), but what I’m REALLY thrilled about is this post. A well-made Manhattan is a thing of beauty, and so many bars just don’t do it right. I’m excited to try the Vermouth you recommended! Also, Trader Joe’s has Amarena cherries during the holiday season that are every bit as good as Luxardo and like 1/4 the price. I like to stock up for the year!


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