Try this recipe for a Manhattan, then check out our negroni, dirty martini, Americano cocktail, sherry Manhattan and more vermouth cocktail recipes. Looking for more whisky cocktail recipes? Check out our whisky highball, whisky sour, old fashioned, sazerac and plenty more. After, read how to elevate your cocktail skills with our best home bar hacks.

Our drinks expert, Hannah Guinness, shares her at-home bar tips to help you take your manhattan to the next level.

What is a manhattan?

No one is quite sure who invented the manhattan – it emerged in the late 19th century in New York, or possibly New Orleans – but it’s a classic cocktail that doesn’t pull punches, with spicy rye whisky (use bourbon for a more mellow result), fruity sweet vermouth and bitters coming together in a dark, rich, intense drink. Perfect for fireside drinking.


You can use bourbon whisky here but we prefer drier, spicier rye whisky to balance the sweetness of the vermouth. We’ve tried and tested the best rye whiskies here.


As a short cocktail served without ice this works best served in a chilled coupe glass, so you can grip the stem without warming the drink in your hands.

Bar hacks and garnishes

Vermouth is the classic ingredient here but try swapping half of the vermouth with coffee liqueur for a coffee-tinged edge to the drink. We also love replacing the sweet vermouth with a little dry vermouth and pedro ximenez sherry for a raisiny twist – try our PX manhattan here.

Take your skills to the next level with this handy cocktail kit from the olive shop. Completed with easy-to-use cobbler shaker, double jigger, fine mesh strainer and bar spoon, it has everything you need to make next-level drinks at home. Buy here.

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe


  • 50ml bourbon or rye whisky
  • 25ml sweet red vermouth
  • a few dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1-2 cocktail cherry to garnish


  • STEP 1

    Put the bourbon or whisky, vermouth and bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and stir well. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with the cherries.

Try our twist on the Manhattan cocktail here

Pedro ximénez sherry is the key to this clever cocktail, best sipped on a winter's evening.

Sherry Manhattan Recipe

Check out our foodie guide to New York here

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Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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