Every holiday gathering needs a signature cocktail and my Go-To is a batch of Manhattans that quickly sets the party mood.


It was a popular cocktail served in 1874 that became known as Manhattan cocktail probably because it was at the Empire State Building (NYC). Now there are many Manhattan recipes and I have mixed batches for testing (and enjoyment) purposes.  The traditional recipe uses Rye whiskey but Bourbon whisky is popular today. My choice is Rye, preferably Canadian whisky, with its milder taste.

You can opt for more expensive whiskies but my choice is Seagrams VO Canadian Whisky.  It’s a good value in 1.75 liter size and Manhattans never go bad (keep refrigerated).

Sweet Vermouth is the key ingredient and I have tried sweet vermouths at all price-points. Avoid less expensive ones (ie Gallo) which aren’t very good (unless cooking). And I do not like Carpano Antica – crazy expensive with over powering taste. My choice is Martini & Rossi because my mother’s maiden name is Rossi! Just kidding – M&R blends well and is great value ($9 for 1.5 liter bottle).

professore sweet vermouth

Del Professore Rosso Sweet Vermouth

If you’re mixing for good friends, I substitute Professore Sweet Vermouth for M&R – more expensive but a much nicer cocktail.

manhattan_ingredients 300x360

BTWG Manhattan Recipe

Whisky – 2 parts
Sweet Vermouth – 1 part
Luxardo Maraschino – 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to desired sweetness)
Bitters 1-2 dashes, garnish with Cherry or Orange rind
Stirred or Shaken, serve Neat or On Rocks

I’m anxious to hear your Manhattan recipe…

How do you spell WHISKEY – is it Whiskey or Whisky?