How to Make a Manhattan, Two Ways


Learn how to make this classic cocktail with top bartender Allison Widdecombe, as well as her own, award-winning variation.



  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 1 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Oils from a lemon peel and a maraschino cherry
  • Glass: Cocktail or coupe

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass. Express the oils from a lemon peel over the top of the drink and garnish with a maraschino cherry.



  • 2.25 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • .75 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
  • Barspoon Maraschino liqueur
  • Garnish: Orange Peel
  • Glass: Cocktail or coupe

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a cocktail or coupe glass. Express the oils of the orange peel over the top of the drink and drop in the peel for garnish.




  • panzrwagn posted 3 months ago

    Bulleit Rye is my go-to whiskey for a Manhattan, but any good whiskey or Rye will do. Vermouth, now that makes a huge difference. There are basically 3 types: the midrange Martini & Rossi, Cinzano, and Noilly Prat; the higher end Cocchi, Vya (US-made, tastes like the Holidays) Punt y Mes (the darkest, sweetest vermouth I've tasted, but really good), and the one that started it all, Carpano Antica (Giuseppe Carpano is noted for 2 inventions - sweet Vermouth and the all-night liquor store. According to legend his vermouth was so popular he had to keep his shop open all night long to keep up with demand). The third type? The really cheap stuff. It's simply awful. It has no reason for existence. Finally, the bitters - Angostura or Fee's Cranberry are my Manhattan favorites, and sometimes I'll add a bar-spoon of Absinthe. We get really good jarred Bing cherries here in the Northwest, and an orange peel spritz and garnish to finish it off.

  • subina posted 3 months ago

    I like to use Bulleit Bourbon. BTW, just last week, I ordered a Bulleit 50-50 at an upscale restaurant and the bartender proceeded to make it without questioning me. I asked if he knew what I meant. He replied, "Absolutely. Half sweet, half dry vermouth. Excellent taste." You can make Manhattans so many ways. Another 50-50 is half rye, half bourbon (again my choice for both is Bulleit). If you like citrusy spice, try a Bianco to replace the dry vermouth; it's a little more playful. I've used the Martini and Rossi Bianco. I know most people look down at the lowly M&R brand but it's fine for me. Don't remember where I saw this but it works wonders on a real chilly night. If you don't like "fruity" sweet, replace your sweet vermouth with Kahlua. That's one fine Manhattan. Bitters can be personalized--Angostura, Orange, Mexican Chocolate/Mole. IMO, cherries should be Luxardo. And oh yes, I do pour a bit of syrup in the glass for both taste and color. If you haven't had Griottines Morello Cherries, they are exquisite. Not in syrup but in a bath of Kirsch and Brandy and more expensive than Luxardos. If anyone knows where to get these kinds of cherries at a discount please let me know. Otherwise, it's Amazon. Thanks.

  • itchytotem posted 6 months ago

    Like a lot of the below posters, I prefer more alcohol forward and less sweet. So I put a lot of hard research coming up with the perfect proportions for an adult version - 4 parts bourbon, or rye, one part vermouth and couple dashes of your bitters of choice. Another discovery - you can go (selectively) cheap on the bourbon, but don't chintz out on the vermouth. Since I live on the bottom shelf at BevMo, I regularly pick-up a 1.5 of either Evan Williams or Early Times for about $20, but I spend about the same amount for a bottle of Vya sweet vermouth (hard to find, but worth the effort. If you can't find it, Dolan is good). The vermouth is less sweet and makes all the difference.

  • jjschaefer posted 8 months ago

    I might suggest using a dryer vermouth like .75 oz of Dolin Rouge and .75 Noily Pratt Rouge and 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Peach Bitters. 3 oz of Jack Daniels, a touch of Luxado cherry juice from the jar, and 2 Luxado cherries. Add all to a mixing glass, stir 30 times and strain into your favorite glass.

  • pup67dog posted 8 months ago

    I prefer my manhattans to be made with Irish whiskey, but only because I've just learned to make them, and I'm working my way through a bottle of Jameson at the moment. Soon, it'll be gone and I'll be making my manhattans with Knob Creek. I can't remember the brand of sweet vermouth, but it was the only variety in the liquor store.

  • osdotf posted 10 months ago

    Too sweet. I slip a bar spoon of Luxardo maraschino liqueur down the inside of the cocktail glass but double down on the classic 2-1 formula with 4 oz Pikesville 110 proof rye and 2 oz Carpano Antica while adding a couple dashes Angostura Orange and garnishing with a Luxardo cherry. The wife approves.

  • jonstrongmantpgcomau329123216 posted 2 years ago

    A Rye Whiskey gives a better flavour in my opinion. Plus a brandied cherry for garnish... Yet to try Allison's mix yet though. Thanks for the video and the different tweaks.

  • dkstewart.8b4ed7 posted 2 years ago

    No vermouth company paid for advertising.

  • not given posted 2 years ago

    Try a Gin Manhattan sometime. Gin replaces Bourbon.

  • peterlake posted 2 years ago

    If you make a Manhattan and put it in that glass and hand it to Don Draper, he'll hand it back to you, assuring you at the same time that you didn't really mean to do that.

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