The Manhattan cocktail—a simple recipe of American whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters that predates the Martini—yields myriad combinations to suit almost any whiskey lover. “I’m very choosy, first, about which rye—yes, rye—works best. Bourbon is too soft for me in this drink,” says Charles Cerankosky, co-owner of Good Luck, Cure, and Jackrabbit Club in Rochester, New York. However, many enjoy bourbon just fine, especially when matched with the right vermouth to balance its sweetness with bitterness and acidity. In fact, almost any style of whiskey you enjoy can shine in a Manhattan.
The modern Manhattan ratio is 2:1 whiskey to vermouth, but the original skewed the opposite, with twice as much vermouth as whiskey. Try this lower-proof rendition well-suited to summer—or find your sweet spot somewhere in between. When these ingredients meet with ice, it’s hard to go wrong.
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