Classic Manhattan Cocktail is one of the most eye-catching classic cocktails due to the deep color of the bourbon and the bright red cherry. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. However, using bourbon will make for a sweeter Manhattan, but that flavor can be tempered using dry vermouth and orange bitters instead of sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters.

This sophisticated whiskey drink has a long history and has stood the test of time. When we want a truly classic cocktail, this is one we’ll reach for.

The Manhattan is the perfect after-dinner tipple.

Here are the secrets to the best Manhattan cocktail recipe! Make this easy classic cocktail with just three ingredients.

The Manhattan cocktail is a sophisticated and classic whiskey cocktail. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late-night drinks drink
  • Cocktail hour drink


  • 2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1-ounce sweet red vermouth
  • 3 dashes of Angostura or orange bitters
  • Luxardo cherry or Cocktail cheery, for garnish

Luxardo cherries are cocktail cherries, but they’re so dark red that they almost look black. They don’t taste anything like a Maraschino: the flavor is complex, fruity, and nutty, almost like amaretto.


  1. Put together all: Gather your ingredients, fill a mixing glass with ice, and place a coupe or martini glass nearby.
  2. Pour the Ingredients: Pour the whiskey and vermouth into your mixing glass. Add a couple of dashes of bitters.
  3. Stir the Mixture: Use a mixing spoon to stir the mixture. Stir in a circular motion for about 30 seconds, or until the drink is very cold
  4. Strain the Manhattan: Strain the liquid into a coupe or martini glass.
  5. Garnish and serve: Garnish with a Luxardo cherry or Cocktail cheery. Enjoy!


You may substitute bourbon whiskey for rye whiskey in your Manhattan.

Manhattan Variations

There are many popular variations of Manhattan Cocktail. Once you’ve made it the classic way, try these spins! Most Popular is with bourbon and brandy.

  • Bourbon Manhattan Use bourbon for a sweeter Manhattan with notes of oak and vanilla.
  • Brandy Manhattan (aka Metropolitan) A sophisticated spin on the classic cocktail recipe using brandy or Cognac.
  • Rob Roy (aka Scotch Manhattan) This variation specifically calls for Scotch whisky.
  • Martinez A gin version of a Manhattan using Maraschino liqueur.
  • Black Manhattan Swap in an Italian amaro for the sweet vermouth.
  • Brooklyn A unique spin with Maraschino liqueur and bitters.
  • Revolver A tasty variation with Tia Maria coffee liqueur.