The Past – Classic Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
While the exact origin of the classic Manhattan remains unknown, the following recipe remains a classic.
2 oz. Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
5 drops Angostura Bitters
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
I compare the classic Manhattan cocktail to watching an old black and white TV and the Manhattan cocktails of today to an OLED TV. The WOW factor immediately takes over.
We all like to experiment and the classic Manhattan recipe is no exception. Over the years cocktail lovers searched for bigger, bolder recipes. The new age recipes replace our parents Martini and Rossi Vermouth with more sophisticated spirits.
A great example is this robust recipe.
4 oz. of your favorite rye or bourbon
1 oz. Barolo Chinato (I use Cocchi)
Dash orange biters
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry
Shake with ice in a Boston Shaker then strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.
Add a cherry or two.
A single barrel premium whiskey works even better. Using a rule of thumb from cooking, when adding wine only use wine you like to drink. The same rule holds true for your cocktails. Barolo Chinato in place of vermouth creates a Manhattan with more character and intensity.
Never heard of Barolo Chinato? Most people have not. It is made from 100% Nebbiolo wine from the Barolo region of Italy.
For more on this wonderful after-dinner drink click Barolo Chinato.
For a little sweeter alternative, replace Barolo Chinato with Averna Amaro.
Compari produces Averna Amaro. A complete description can be found on their website at Averna Amaro.
There are also great craft American vermouths to try. Each has its own unique flavor to enhance your Manhattan. A great starting point for your research can be found at Great American Craft Vermouths.
Barrel Aged Manhattan Cocktail
Barrel aged cocktails are the new kid on the block. Age your favorite Manhattan cocktail in an American White Oak 1 liter barrel. As with all spirits, aging in oak barrels mellows the spirits and, depending on the time in the barrel, imparts additional layers of flavors and complexity.
Typically a Manhattan should be aged one to three months. Taste is subjective so spend some time finding your ideal time in the barrel. I have attached several articles on barrel aging. One recommends adding bitters after the barrel aging. They found bitters take over the flavor of the cocktail if they were added at the beginning of the process.
In addition to aging your cocktails, small oak barrels add a nice decorating touch to your bar area.
We are not professional bartenders but we sure have fun trying!
For all your glassware needs shop our wonderful selection of Schott Zwiesel wine, cocktail and iced beverage glasses. Schott Zwiesel is known for patented Tritan Crystal glassware that resists chipping, breakage and scratches.
The perfect cocktail glass for your perfect Manhattan is Schott Zwiesel’s Pure Martini glass.