I love to drink good wine and in recent years (mainly since moving to the US), I have become quite partial to drinking cocktails. Whenever I am out and about I tend to order either a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. This article focuses on how to make the perfect Manhattan at home.
A bit of background
One of the most popular classic cocktails in the world, The Manhattan originated in New York city, although the exact place and who invented it is still up for speculation. However it is generally agreed that it was invented in the mid 1800's. The traditional Manhattan is made up of Rye Whisky, Italian Red Vermouth and Angostura Bitters. Most bars will serve it in a cocktail glass with a Maraschino Cherry.
How to mix it
The standard mix is two parts Rye to one part Vermouth and a dash of bitters.
How to make it
First off you will need a cocktail shaker, but I find a large heavy glass (the kind you can buy from Ikea) works just as well since for this cocktail we mix it, not shake it. You then need a measure, a stirrer and a strainer. All of these can be purchased very cheaply on Amazon and the links and pictures to recommended products are listed below. And of course you need a cocktail glass. Fill the cocktail glass with a couple of ice cubes and tap water and let it sit on the counter chilling for a while as you make your delicious Manhattan,
Fill your large glass or cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Then measure out two ounces of Rye Whisky and pour that into the glass over the ice. Then measure out one ounce of Red Vermouth and pour that in. Then add a dash of bitters. Mix it all up with the stirrer for a minute or two to allow some of the ice to melt and then take the strainer, put it over the glass or shaker and strain the liquid into a cocktail glass. I never bother with a cherry - waste of space.
The color of the cocktail should be dark brown and icy cold. Sip gently and savor the complexity and smoothness of the drink. It is delicious pre or post dinner.
Variations on the ingredients
- Use Bourbon or Scotch instead of Rye - just as delicious but a slightly different flavor.
- Try two ounces of liquor to two ounces of Vermouth - makes it sweeter.
- Try Orange bitters instead of standard Angostura bitters.
- Try the 'reverse cocktail' (becoming trendy as people watch their alcohol unit intake) - two parts Vermouth to one part whisky.
Paraphernalia for your cocktail making
And a beautiful decanter here: