Classic Cocktails & Drinks With A Funky Twist

Manhattan Drink Recipe


Posted: 05/15/21

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

When it comes to classic cocktails, the Manhattan drink is definitely at the top of the list. Both timeless and tasty, the days of only ordering this yummy drink from a bartender are over. With this recipe, you’ll be able to make the best Manhattan at home.

two glasses of Manhattan cocktails with cherry garnish

If you have never had a Manhattan cocktail, it is time we introduced you. The origins of the classic Manhattan cocktail aren’t exactly known, but it is thought to have been created in New York in the late 1800s. It is said that it was the first cocktail that used vermouth, even before the martini. While it may seem fancy, the Manhattan is a very simple cocktail to make at home and has a complex flavor profile. It only requires three ingredients and a cherry (or three) on top!

two glasses of Manhattan cocktails with cherries to garnish

Manhattan Ingredients

This is such a simple cocktail to make and the ingredients have a great shelf life, so you can have one whenever your heart has the whim for a Manhattan. For the measurements of each ingredient, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Whiskey: Rye whiskey or bourbon can be used.
  • Vermouth: Sweet vermouth balances the burn of the whiskey and the bitterness of the bitters.
  • A dash of bitters

Finally, it is traditionally garnished with a cherry (luxardo cherries are what you see in the photos).

Making a Manhattan cocktail and pouring into a glass with cherry garnish

How to Make a Manhattan

Here is how this classic cocktail comes together. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full recipe including all measurements.

  1. To a mixing glass filled with ice, add your whiskey, vermouth, and a couple of dashes of bitters.
  2. Stir gently until well mixed and strain into a cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy!

How to Serve

Any cocktail glass will do, but we prefer a coupe glass for our Manhattans. It is best to serve immediately, while chilled from the ice. A cherry (or three!) makes the perfect garnish.


Coupe Glasses

These coupe glasses are perfect for enjoying classic cocktails.
Product Image
glass of Manhattan cocktail with cherries to garnish

Manhattan vs Old Fashioned

The Manhattan and Old Fashioned are both classic whiskey drinks, though they do have a few differences including how they are served. An Old Fashioned is sweeter, containing sugar and lacking Vermouth. It is often served in a rocks or Old Fashioned glass, while the Manhattan is served in a coupe glass.

Two glasses of Manhattan cocktails with cherry garnish

Other Whiskey Drinks

If you make this Manhattan drink recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

two glasses of Manhattan cocktail with cherry garnish
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Manhattan Drink Recipe

Serves: 1 cocktail
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
This classic Manhattan Drink Recipe is the perfect cocktail recipe!  Made with easy to find ingredients, whiskey or bourbon, bitters, and vermouth, it is as simple as it is delicious.


  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce vermouth chilled
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 cherry with a stem for garnish


  • Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Course: Drinks
two glasses of Manhattan cocktail with cherry garnish

Did You Make This

Manhattan Drink Recipe

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @shakedrinkrpt and hashtag it #shakedrinkrepeat!

Lisa Longley has been creating great recipes for more than a decade. While it is too hard for her to pick her favorite cocktail, she is known to love our dirty martini.

Reader Interactions

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  1. averie @ averie cooks says

    This IS such a classic and your photos are gorgeous!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Averie!!

  2. LaLessia Fricks says

    Dry vermouth? Sweet Vermouth? Thank you !!

    • Nathan Longley says

      Sweet Red Vermouth

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