9-Bottle Bar Recipe: The Manhattan

9-Bottle Bar Recipe: The Manhattan

Roger Kamholz
Mar 21, 2014
(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

The 9-Bottle Bar wouldn't be complete without the ingredients to whip up the Manhattan, one of the quintessential classic cocktails.

The sharp, full-bodied combination of aged American whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters was likely first minted sometime in the latter half of the 1800s. Its exact origins are unknown, but clearly the bartender who created the Manhattan was on to something, because this drink has truly stood the test of time.

As cocktails come, the Manhattan is pretty straightforward. Three ingredients—one spiritous, one sweet, one bitter—stirred with ice. But its simplicity is deceptive. There's a magic that happens when this trio plays together. The range of flavors present run from caramel to dark fruit to cloves to vanilla.

(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

Some versions of the recipe for the Manhattan call for bourbon whiskey, some suggest Canadian. The 9-Bottle Bar version calls for rye, which was very likely used by the bartenders who made it first. The spiciness of the rye gives the drink a beautiful structure and finish. It's a drink you'll want to linger over, to savor.

The Manhattan

Serves 1

  • 2 ounces

    bonded straight rye whiskey, such as Rittenhouse

  • 1 ounce

    Dolin Rouge sweet vermouth

  • 3 dashes

    Angostura bitters

Add ingredients to a mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes and stir for about 30 seconds. Strain contents into a chilled cocktail glass.

Recipe Notes

Optionally, garnish a Manhattan with a cocktail cherry or a swath of orange peel.

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