Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Manhatta Astoria

Manhatta Astoria cocktail

Giada Paoloni

The classic Astoria cocktail, named for the New York City hotel where it was created, is a simple mix of Old Tom gin and extra-dry vermouth in the proportions of a Reverse Martini

There’s nothing simple about the version of the classic that appears on the menu at Manhatta in NYC, however. This labor-intensive cocktail retains the original’s formula of two ounces vermouth to an ounce of gin, but incorporates a number of contemporary flourishes. It calls for multiple gins and vermouths, an aromatic tincture, and a pickled garnish plus a bit of the pickling liquid; the entire mix gets infused with chrysanthemum flowers. 

It’s the creation of Manhatta’s head bartender, Cameron Winkelman, who was inspired to use a blend of four gins he was introduced to while working at The Polynesian, which used the blend in its Zombie. There, rum aficionado Brian Miller would tell him, “What one rum can’t do, three can,” according to Winkelman. “I find you can apply that principle to gins,” he says. “If you find one flat or static, you can add another to change the flavor while still holding true to what each brings to the table.” In this case, the gin blend, with its honeyed-floral-citrus notes and an alcohol boost from the Perry’s Tot, accents the drink’s modern additions. 

The drink is prebatched, so although it’s incredibly complicated to pull together, it couldn’t be easier to serve. The quantities given are for one cocktail but can be scaled up as desired to make multiple servings. 

Even though a blend of gins is ideal in this cocktail, Winkelman cautions against blending for the sake of it. “Certain gins may taste bad together. You have to train your palate to find the differences and balance. I’m not even perfect at it,” he says.


  • 1 ounce gin blend

  • 1 ounce Carpano Dry vermouth

  • 1 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce honeydew pickling liquid**

  • 3 dashes The Bitter Truth lemon bitters

  • 2 dashes palo santo tincture***

  • 1 dash absinthe

  • 3/4 ounce water

  • 1 gram chrysanthemum flowers

  • Garnish: lemon twist

  • Garnish: pickled honeydew melon ball**, skewered


  1. Add the first eight ingredients into a sealable container. (Multiply quantities given to make the desired number of servings.)

  2. Add 10 grams of chrysanthemum flowers per liter of cocktail and allow to steep overnight at room temperature.

  3. Strain through a chinois, pressing flowers while straining. Discard the solids.

  4. Strain through a coffee filter, discarding the solids.

  5. Bottle in a freezer-safe container and freeze until fully chilled.

  6. Pour 4 ounces into a Nick & Nora glass.

  7. Express the oils from a lemon twist over the drink, then discard the twist.

  8. Garnish with a skewered pickled honeydew melon ball.

*Gin blend: Combine 1 ounce Monkey 47 gin, 1 ounce Millers Westbourne gin, 1/2 ounce Perry’s Tot gin, and 1/2 ounce Greenhook Old Tom gin. 

**Pickling liquid/pickled honeydew melon balls: In a pan, gently toast 2 tablespoons juniper berries, 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, and 6 star anise pods. Add 1250 grams of granulated white sugar, 4 tablespoons of Maldon salt, 500 grams of white balsamic vinegar, 500 grams of apple cider vinegar, 1250 grams of water, and the peels of 2 lemons and 2 oranges, and stir to combine while heating. Bring mixture to a low boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate, allowing the mixture to infuse for two days. Strain through a chinois and then a coffee filter, discarding solids each time. Use a melon baller to fill a quart container with honeydew melon balls. Transfer to a ziplock bag and cover with the pickling liquid. Remove all air from the bag and cook sous vide for 2 hours at 52.5 degrees celsius. Refrigerate, keeping balls submerged in pickling liquid.

***Palo santo tincture: Combine 50 grams of food-grade palo santo wood with 250 grams of Everclear and allow to infuse for 2 weeks. Strain through a coffee filter and discard solids.