Manhattan Cocktail with Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey nearly vanished for decades, but it’s back in a very big way. Bourbon is slightly too sweet for a Manhattan, but rye whiskey has a spicy kick. The stronger the rye, the better.

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ¾ to 1 ounce Italian sweet vermouth
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • Tiny piece of lemon peel, for garnish, optional

— Combine whiskey, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir 40 times, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with the cherry already at the bottom.  A lemon peel may be also added to the drink, for flavor.

A simpler option is to pour whiskey, vermouth and bitters over ice in an Old-Fashioned glass, and stir.

Rittenhouse 100 Rye is the preferred rye, with Martini & Rossi for the vermouth. High West Rye is also recommended.

For a truly impressive Manhattan, Carpano Antica, one of the most complex (and expensive) Italian vermouths is highly recommended.

Bulleit 95 Rye Whiskey and Dolin Rouge French Vermouth is a a good combination.

Since bourbon is a little sweeter than rye, Noilly Prat French Sweet Vermouth works well with that spirit.

Sweet vermouth, after the bottle is opened, should be stored in the refrigerator, where it will last a month. Write the date that you open it, on the label. Better yet, pump out the air with a low-cost Vacu Vin, and it will stay fresh even longer.