How to make a Manhattan

All you need to know about this stirred down whiskey-vermouth drink from New York.

Not only the most famous cocktail to be named after a New York borough, the Manhattan also has some of the most colourful origin stories of the classics.

One unlikely tale involves Winston Churchill's mother, Jennie Jerome, who is said to have held a party in 1874 at New York's Manhattan Club for presidential candidate Samuel J Tilden. A certain Dr Iain Marshall reportedly created the drink for the event, which may be true , but Lady Randolph Churchill was almost certainly in Europe at the time, pregnant with Winston.

Another story attributes the drink's creation in the 1860s to a man named Black, who ran a bar on broadway. Regardless of who invented it, we're fortunate to still have this transcendent combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters today, along with some of its more capable evolutions, such as the Rob Roy, or more recent Black Manhattan by US bartender Todd Smith. 

VIDEO DEMO by Tristan Stephenson: How to make a sweet Manhattan 

RECIPE from Meehan's Bartender Manual

  • 60ml (2 oz) American Whiskey (rye or bourbon)
  • 30ml (1 oz) sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 brandied cherries to garnish

Method: Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Ganish with the cherries on a pick.