A straight on shot of a Manhattan cocktail on a raised serving train with a swirly purple background

The Manhattan is pure, unassuming decadence. The recipe is so simple — just 2 parts rye whiskey, 1 part sweet vermouth and a couple dashes of bitters. Yet somehow this glorious combination results in one of the most elegant classic cocktails of all time.

Back when I was bartending, I had such respect for customers who would order a Manhattan that they would get two amarena cherries. And for our favorite customers, we used to make mini Manhattans instead of standard whiskey shots.

An overhead shot of a Manhattan cocktail in a fancy glass with two amarena cherries
A decadent drink deserves a decadent garnish

The Manhattan makes a great base for experimenting. Try using different types of bitters (chocolate or walnut would be delicious) or add a spoon of fruity or spicy liqueur. I always recommend using the best quality booze possible, but it’s especially important when it comes to a Manhattan. A high quality rye will make all the difference for getting a truly decadent outcome, so go ahead and splurge on a nice bottle.



  1. Stir all ingredients vigorously with ice
  2. Strain into a chilled fancy stem glass
  3. Garnish with two amarena cherries

Other drinks to enjoy