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The Perfect Recipe for a Manhattan

manhattan cocktail recipe

A lot of classic and certainly newer cocktails require a loaded bar with a variety of ingredients. However, you likely already have all of the ingredients needed for classic Manhattan on hand. With just three ingredients and one garnish, you can serve a cocktail staple that’s very easy to make and goes down smooth.

Brief history of the Manhattan

Like any drink origin story, there are multiple versions about how the drink actually came to be first created. The most likely for the Manhattan is that it originated at the Manhattan Club (of course) in New York City by Dr. Iain Marshall in the early 1870’s at a banquet to honour Presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The social standing of the event caused the drink to grow in popularity as people referenced The Manhattan Drink when requesting it at other occasions. Later, during the 1920’s, the drink was primarily made with Canadian Whisky due to its availability during Prohibition.


As with any classic cocktail, there are a number of variations to making a Manhattan. We like to keep it simple with the following:

  • 2 ounces of Canadian whiskey
  • 1 ounce of sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a stemmed maraschino cherry.


  1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass (preferred) or shaker filled with ice.
  2. Stir or shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with the cherry.

It’s just that easy. No need to be an expert mixologist or to have a fully stocked bar to serve this staple cocktail.

One tip we recommend is that you take the time to stir the drink well. A Manhattan is never served with ice so it’s important that you take the time to stir is properly and that you have a chilled glass on hand when ready.