The Manhattan

The Manhattan is one of the few cocktails that never seems to go out of style.  As a boy, I remember them being enjoyed by my parents and their friends. And as an adult they are regularly ordered at the bars by my own contemporaries.

“Contemporaries” is my fancy way of referring to Laura and Sean: my hag and my mentor.

Laura and Sean were the ones who ordered me my very first Manhattan a few years back at Martuni’s, a slender tavern and piano bar wrapped around the corner of Valencia and Market Streets in San Francisco.  Being a steadfast devotee of the the vodka martini, I first found the Manhattan’s sweetness slightly off-putting, but was eventually won over by it’s smooth finish and gentle kick.

The Classic Manhattan

1 1/2 to 2 ounces quality bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry or lemon twist (or in my case, both)

Add bourbon, vermouth and bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice.  Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish appropriately.

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2 thoughts on “The Manhattan

  • January 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

    And then there is the ‘Perfect Manhattan’ – with dry vermouth and an olive.
    I’m a Gimlet fan myself. Doubt they woule even know how to make them here. The hubs likes martinis and always has to specify ‘American martini cocktail’ or he just gets a glass of sweet vermouth (Martini). Actually, he gave up and just orders gin on the rocks…. LOL

  • January 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Katie – I have not tried a “perfect” but I didn’t know you subbed in an olive for a the cherry. I’ll have to try that this weekend. My mother is a gimlet fan, and I can take them or leave them. We can both do without Gibsons though.

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