Nick Hall

How to Make the Perfect Manhattan Cocktail | Man of Many

The Manhattan drink is a cocktail made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. Traditionally, rye is used for the whiskey, however, in recent years, mixologists have turned to Canadian whisky, bourbon, blended releases and Tennesse favourites. As a general rule, the drink is usually stirred then strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry, giving it an iconic silhouette that is almost as famous as the flavour itself.

What is a Manhattan Drink?

With that in mind, we spoke with the cocktail expert on how to make a Manhattan drink, just in time for World Whisky Day this Saturday 15 May. Here’s what we found.

How to Make a Manhattan

Unlike other classic whiskey cocktails, like the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour or Mint Julep, the Manhattan relies on a different flavour profile, which is what Plummer believes sets the drink apart.

Manhattan Ingredients

For a basic Manhattan recipe, the method is simple. Here is how to make a Manhattan, as per the traditional method.

Manhattan Recipe

While the Manhattan recipe isn’t exactly the most complex cocktail to add to your arsenal, that isn’t to say you can’t get it wrong. According to Plummer, there are some basic mistakes that amateur mixologists tend to overlook when preparing the iconic drink.

Common Mistakes

As with all cocktails, particularly whiskey-based recipes, getting the right base alcohol right is a matter of tastes. For most people, figuring out what is the best whiskey for a Manhattan drink might involve some trial and error, which is not always a bad thing. “Bulleit Whiskey is excellent, there is both a bourbon and a rye whiskey in the range,” Plummer says. “The rye is a little higher in ABV and rye whiskey brings a richer and more robust flavour profile, think about a slice of rye bread – nutty, spice, dense and malty.”

Best Whiskey for a Manhattan Drink

One of the fastest-growing Small Batch Bourbons in America, Bulleit is hitting its straps with its signature drop. Based on a 175-year-old recipe, Bulleit Bourbon includes a large amount of rye grain, giving a distinctive taste.

1. Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Rye Whiskey has a bold, spicy character and a distinctively clean finish. Combining hints of spice, vanilla and honey, the rye release offers a smooth, well-balanced finish that is ideal for a classic Manhattan cocktail.

2. Bulleit Rye

High West is Utah’s first legal distillery and the Double Rye Whiskey is a blend of two different rye whiskeys, making it twice as spicy. On the nose, you’ll find mint, clove, cinnamon, licorice root, pine nuts, and dark chocolate, with a surprising dose of gin botanicals throughout.

3. High West Double Rye

Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Rye contains at least 51 per cent rye, making it a great option for your Manhattan recipe. This particular release is rich and balanced with a unique toffee and peppery taste that makes it less sweet than Bourbon.

4. Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Rye

America’s first distilling company, Michter’s dates back to 1753 when it first started out making rye whiskey. This rye is a bold whiskey with fresh spice notes and a lingering soft finish.

5. Michter’s US 1 Straight Rye

This Old Forester Kentucky Straight bourbon delivers a genuine experience, with rich full flavour and a smooth character that is ideal for the classic Manhattan cocktail.

6. Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight whiskey has solid aromas of vanilla, mint and molasses which follows through on the palate with notes of brown sugar and spice. A long and dry finish rounds off what is a truly great whiskey.

7. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight

This Gold Medal award-winning Kentucky spirit is one of the best and most affordable bourbons on the market. With a solid flavour and a heritage of success, you can’t go wrong with Woodford Reserve.

8. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight

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