The Noble Manhattan

Thanks to the lively discussion with William and Bruce regarding this cocktail I wanted to start a thread about the glorious Manhattan. I have really got into drinking these this winter and would love to see interesting recipes or ingredients from others.

My typical Manhattan is something like:

3oz. Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1.5oz. Carpano Antica
3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Also love the perfect version which includes dry vermouth at 1:1 with sweet vermouth in an overall ratio of 2:1 with the rye and/or bourbon.

Tonight I mixed a riff on a perfect / Negroni?!? it went as follows:

2oz. Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
0.75oz. Carpano Antica
0.25oz. Campari
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Pechaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Really great with the sweetness and rye character coming on the entry leading to that Campari bitterness on the finish. The Campari is in check so I wonder if a 1:1 ratio with the sweet vermouth could still yield a balanced cocktail?..for next time! I never thought I would finish the bottle of Campari I have after mixing a brutally bitter Negroni awhile back but this stuff is great used with discretion in an Italicized Manhattan.

So what interesting recipes or ingredients do you have for this noble cocktail?

Ritt is great stuff to use. I’ve also enjoyed rye heavy four roses cask strength single barrel bottles or Thomas handy rye and whistle pig 111

Higher the proof the better in my book.

I give Will part credit for this recipe, which I also posted in the Bourbon thread:

1 1/2 oz eagle rare 17 yr (or any other superb Bourbon)
1 oz ritenhouse rye 100 proof
1 oz Cocci vermouth
5 shakes bitters. I use Angorosta mostly because that’s what I have.
A luxardo cherry with a touch of cherry juice from the jar added.

I typically shake this concoction in a shaker with ice and drink in a martini glass where the cherry and juice were separately waiting. The differences in color look nice.

I think the rye adds some complexities you don’t get with just all Bourbon. The Cocchi is not so sweet as to need both dry and sweet vermouth.

I changed it up a bit tonight.
Used 1 1/2 oz rip van Winke 10 yr (107 proof)
1 1/2 oz rittenhouse 100 proof rye
1 oz Cocchio vermouth
5 shakes angostura bitters
I Luxardo cherry with a dollop of cherry juice.

When filling my shaker with iced accidentally added about 1/4 oz water.
It was Devine.

Interesting combo of Bourbon and Rye in your recipes Bruce, do you find it adds some complexity? Running low on rye and vermouth so haven’t been making many manhattans lately. Hope to rectify that this week.

@bruce – I don’t shake, rather use one large ice cube and find that the sweet spot of the drink is somewhere well into the cube having started to melt, so i’m not surprised at all that a little water improved your drink. (esp if you were close to 104 proof in the glass)

The recipes all look good – the last big step for me was bitters. I love the Forbidden Bitters (Miracle Mile) and have also had great success with Fee Brothers Barrel Aged Bitters. There are some really interesting, exotic bitters out there – and they aren’t expensive (although sometimes hard to procure), check them out.

It was recommended by the Board (Will I think) and I agree it adds a flavor complexity to the drink.

I’ll look for the bitters next time I’m at KL. I didn’t want to pay shipping. Do they have the ice cube trays too?

Amazon has the spheres on sale for $9.95 as well as the 1" cubes for the same price
Here is the sphere in action

The Carpano Antica is essential; really elevates the drink.

I agree Brett, was able to restock on the Carpano and also Rittenhouse last week. Looking forward to some good Manhattans this week.

I am really loving the touch of Campari in a Manhattan, did some research and looks like cocktails with similar recipes to this exist. The Boulevardier which is equal parts Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari. And the 1794 which is a bit closer to a Manhattan, 2:1:1 Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Campari. I think just a touch of Campari works better as the drink is still very much a Manhattan albeit on the drier slightly bitter side but not like a full on Negroni.

Next time I make it up to Hi-Time I hope to grab some Cocci to try as well as the ever elusive Luxardos (and Miracle Mile bitters, do they carry them?)

I tried a little Campari last night - made the drink a bit different, but I kinda liked it! My mix was as follows:
2 1/4 oz Russell Reserve (The bottle looked lonely and hadn’t been poured in a while);
1 Oz. Rittenhouse Rye;
1 1/2 Oz Cocci Vermouth
3/4 Oz Campari
Five shakes bitters (angostura)
One Luxardo Cherry.

Nice Bruce! Yea the Campari is different, I have a nearly full bottle and decided I needed to find a way to use it. Too much and it can take over the drink as I have found. Does make the drink a bit drier and different than a true perfect manhattan. I think I may try them side by side to see how different they are. Also interested in doing the mixed whiskies like you suggest, might try the rittenhouse with some eagle rare bourbon next time.


Great stuff here. I use Templeton rye or EC 13 year. Agree with the s vermouth but I like a perfect so I use antica and Dolin.

To the cherry juice. I use Luxardo cherries as well and tried a dollop of syrup. But found it ultimately cloying so I added two shakes of fee cherry bitters.