How to make a Manhattan?

What is a Manhattan cocktail?

A Manhattan cocktail is a classic cocktail made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters served in a martini or coupe glass traditionally without ice. I always feel fancy ordering this classic cocktail at a bar especially when they bring it out in a nice coupe glass. One sip and you feel you’ve fallen back in time into a speakeasy.

Manhattan being strained into a coupe glass.


The story goes that this cocktail was created at the Manhattan club for a banquet in honor of presidential candidate Samuel Tilden in the 1870’s. This is most likely false as similar recipes were scene as early as 1860 around the Manhattan area. It started to appear in cocktail books in the mid 1880’s with many different variations and styles.

Manhattan Recipe

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 lemon twist
Bottle of Vermouth, Rye Whiskey in a crystal bottle, coupe glass, bitters, lemon.

Instruction Overview

Add all your ingredients into a glass.

Add some ice and stir until chilled.

Strain into a new glass.


What alcohol is in this cocktail?

Traditionally Rye whiskey but any whiskey will do.

Does it have ice?
Can you serve it on the rocks?

Usually it is served straight up after being chilled in a separate glass and strained but if you’d prefer it on the rocks go for it.

What glass do you serve it in?

Standard is Martini or Coupe glass but you can serve it in whatever you like.

What kind of Vermouth should you use?
Can you use Dry Vermouth?

Normally it uses a Sweet Vermouth but many recipes call for Dry or both.

The Olive Twist

The Manhattan is a drink where the liquor shines but shaking it up a bit can add new twists. The Brandy Manhattan replaces whiskey with Brandy. Throw in some dark rum instead and you have a Cuban Manhattan. Of course you can make the Perfect Manhattan by doing equal parts Dry and Sweet Vermouth.

Manhattan Recipe

A Manhattan cocktail is a classic cocktail made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters served in a cocktail glass traditionally without ice.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 drink
Calories 187 kcal


  • 1 Coupe Glass
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 Mixing Glass


  • 2 ounces Rye Whiskey
  • 1 ounce Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 twist Lemon


  • Grab a mixing glass.
  • Add Rye Whiskey, Vermouth, and ice then stir until chilled.
  • Double strain into a coupe glass.
  • Rim glass with lemon twist.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating