BartenderFilter: Manhattan
November 14, 2005 5:49 PM   Subscribe

What is your recipe for a Manhattan?

I plan to use a top-shelp bourbon, like Maker's Mark.
posted by jimfl to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
half bourbon, half sweet vermouth, no bar foam and a single stemless maraschino. i usually use black label beam in a manhattan because all the other bourbons i stock are small batch and for sipping, not mixing.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2005

Response by poster: I'm not familiar with the term "bar foam." Is this another word for bitters?
posted by jimfl at 6:01 PM on November 14, 2005

Martini proportions: two jiggers Maker's Mark, 1/2 jigger dry vermouth, a couple of cherries. Shake with ice until your hand is too cold to stand it anymore. When you pour, you will find there is a bit of foam on top. Although I will now have to experiment with bitters....
posted by ilsa at 6:10 PM on November 14, 2005

bar foam is the "cloudy froth" that forms when a cocktail is vigorously shaken in a shaker. technically, i drink 50-50 manhattans because i don't like the bitters. a "perfect manhattan" is half bourbon, and one-quarter each dry and sweet vermouth, also without bitters.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:17 PM on November 14, 2005

i ditch the dry vermouth entirely, and use jameson's irish whiskey instead of bourbon. 2 parts whiskey to 1 part sweet vermouth, shake of bitters, and a cherry. a wee drip of cherry juice too, sometimes. mmmn!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2005

It's not a Manhattan unless you use bitters. Anyway, 2 parts whiskey, one part sweet vermouth, bitters to taste and a single cherry.
posted by substrate at 7:24 PM on November 14, 2005

I never put bitters in my manhattans; Bitters are relegated to old fashioned duty.
posted by AllesKlar at 7:32 PM on November 14, 2005

2oz bourbon or, preferably, rye, 1oz sweet vermouth, bitters.

IOW what substrate said. And sgt. sandwich. Because they're right.

Also a good drink is four parts bourbon to one part each sweet vermouth and maraschino, one dash each orange and Angostura bitters.
posted by kenko at 7:33 PM on November 14, 2005

A former BF only liked Manhattans with cheaper bourbon, cause the rough edge is a good thing. He was right. Not right enough for me to keep cheap hooch around just to make Manhattans, but Makers is very sweet and smooth, and adding sweet vermouth makes it, well, sweeter.
posted by theora55 at 7:56 PM on November 14, 2005

There are lots of bourbons better than Makers - but since you're mixing it up anyway <shrug>.

- A glug of bourbon
- Quick splash of sweat (red) vermouth (I prefer ones from France, for dry vermouth - Italian)
- A drop of bitters
- Swirl in mixer w/ ice cubes, pour

Proportions and total volume depends heavily on mood and why I'm drinking.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:56 PM on November 14, 2005

If you use Maker's, try a lemon twist instead of a cherry. Lately I've ben using Knob Creek, 2 parts, 1 part sweet and dry vermouth, dash of bitters.
posted by vito90 at 9:52 PM on November 14, 2005

(I prefer ones from France, for dry vermouth - Italian)

This is odd—wasn't French vermouth originally dry, and Italian sweet?
posted by kenko at 9:53 PM on November 14, 2005

Here's how the guy who invented the Cosmopolitan does it.
posted by xo at 10:40 PM on November 14, 2005

Here's the recipe from 'Food Maven' Arthur Schwartz. Apart from being the charmingest guy ever, Schwartz does considerable research on culinary history. His most recent publication, New York City Food, is a gorgeous, coffee-table worthy, and fascinating survey of iconic NYC food and drink.

I was startled to learn that the original Manhattan was always made with rye whiskey. It makes historical sense: rye was a more commonly grown grain in the harsh north, and Manhattan was a rye-drinking town. Bourbon was the whiskey of the American South and did not often make an appearance in the North until mid-20th century. Since Manhattans are my cocktail of choice, this was interesting news. I still haven't tried this recipe, but I certainly will.

And I'll agree with those who recommend using a blend in a Manhattan rather than a good bourbon. The better the whiskey, the less it should be mixed. You are masking the flavor with the potent aroma of bitters and the cloying sweetness of vermouth - don't waste great whiskey doing that. A middling bourbon is the best choice.
posted by Miko at 6:19 AM on November 15, 2005

RYE RYE RYE! Then the tiniest hint of sweet vermouth, and just slightly more bitters.
posted by klangklangston at 7:07 AM on November 15, 2005

I use Makers, or occasionally Booker's (but that's amazingly strong, and really for sipping.) This is what I do:
Fill shaker with ice
2 1/2 oz Bourbon
1/2 - 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
4-6 drops of angostura Bitters
Stir (I don't like the drink to foam)
Coat rim of glass with orange rind twist. Add maraschino cherry (I marinade these in cognac.) Pour in Manhattan, add orange rind twist.

This is a little time-consuming, but I think that with the extra effort (and the citrus and boozy cherry) it makes the best Manhattan. Well, let me qualify that: the kind of Manhattan that I like best...
posted by ob at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2005

3 shots jim beam
1/2 shot dry vermouth
1/2 shot sweet vermouth
dash bitters

in a shaker with ice. DO NOT SHAKE unless you want that gross foam. Swirl the shaker gently in your hand until frost forms on the outside. Pour and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

I agree if you don't put bitters in it it aint a manhattan.
posted by jockc at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2005

Take 9 million people. Cram them all into a dirty subway car. Agitate. May cause altered state of awareness.

Seriously, I'm looking forward to trying these recipes - thanks, all!
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2005

There is no bourbon in a Manhattan, only rye. And bitters is a must.

Around a half ounce of sweet vermouth is good. 1/4 sweet, 1/4 dry for a Perfect Manhattan.
posted by futureproof at 12:22 AM on November 16, 2005

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