Manhattan

Manhattan cocktail in a martini glass

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

The Manhattan is one of the fundamental classic cocktails. It is where the journey started but its origins are lost in the mists. The first printed reference is found in a New York newspaper in the early 1880s. There was a Manhattan Club approximately where the Empire State Building now stands but the story of the drink originating there is likely a myth.

We do know that in the nineteenth century New York was a rye-drinking town so the early Manhattan would have been made with rye whiskey. I particularly like to use Rittenhouse 100 proof rye. I would recommend Carpano Antica for the vermouth though I admit to not yet having tried Martini & Rossi or Cinzano rosso vermouths. The Angostura bitters is an essential ingredient and I'm inclined to be generous in my interpretation of two dashes.

I like my Manhattan strained into a cocktail glass but it can also be served over a big cube of ice in a rocks glass. I find that if served over ice, the ice slowly dilutes the drink. Maybe I should drink faster.