July 16, 2024
Bourbon Manhattan

If you are a whiskey lover, you should know that Manhattan is the best choice for your needs. It comes from a fantastic combination of bourbon whiskey, bitters, and sweet vermouth.

Besides, it is trendy among millions of people across the globe due to herbal undertones and subtle bitterness. You can also enjoy a caramel aroma in combination with the sweetness you will get from the vermouth.

If you wish to choose rye whiskey, you will get a more traditional option with a savory and spicy taste for this cocktail. The best way to learn more about bourbon regulations is by checking here for additional info.

It does not matter which one is the best for the combination you wish to use because you will get a balanced taste that will provide you enjoyment.

Still, you will get a potent cocktail when it comes to alcohol content, so it is appealing to people who enjoy visiting bars. Even today, you can find a wide array of numerous cocktails on the market, but classic ones are still popular.

It is vital to understand the history of the Manhattan cocktail, which will provide you a better understanding before you visit a bar and order it the next time.


Similarly, it is challenging to determine the right moment when someone invented it as other classic cocktails.

However, we have a few theories. One of the most prominent ones includes Dr. Iain Marshall during the early 80s of 19th century for Winston Churchill’s mother.

The explanation behind the name is because the party was held in New York, the Manhattan Club. However, it is a myth because Lady Churchill was in England and pregnant during that period.

A more plausible story was in the manual of New York from 1923 that stated that a particular bartender on Broadway created it. Still, origins are inconclusive, which is why we must settle to myths mentioned above.

First Mentions

Even though we do not know its origins, the facts state that the drink entered the scene in early 1880. The earliest mention of this drink was in Morning Herald, NY.

The article stated the ingredients we have mentioned above, including whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. However, the first detailed recipe entered the scene in 1884 in The Modern Bartender’s Guide.

You should know that the recipes underwent numerous changes during the 20th century. For instance, people used absinth and gum syrup, which were popular in some periods, but became obsolete after a while.

Besides, people used Angostura bitters instead of orange options because it was more available and prominent.

Another change happened due to the high popularity of Canadian whiskey, which was more accessible during the Prohibition Era.

However, after this historical point, people started using Canadian whiskey because it featured a smooth taste.

After a while, bourbon whiskey became the superior choice. However, the traditional recipes used rye options, especially in early ages. After the expansion of bourbon, people started using it because it featured a sweet and mellow taste.

We recommend you to learn more about bourbon history after visiting this link: https://history.house.gov/HouseRecord/Detail/15032436199 for relevant info.

Things to Know About Ingredients

Bourbon Manhattan

  • Whiskey – In the original cocktail, people used rye as the whiskey of choice. However, as time went by, bourbon became an essential aspect. Since the bourbon comes from a combination of corn and wheat, you will get a sweeter option compared with others.
  • Vermouth – Vermouth entered the market in the late-18th century—the choices you can choose depending on other ingredients, including whiskey potency, among other things. The main goal is to balance it with whiskey while ensuring that it does not become too prominent.
  • Bitters – A classic option for bitters is Angostura, but you can get orange and provide you with a more citrusy approach. Another option is to choose Peychaud’s, which comes with a more floral and sweeter flavor than Angostura. Angostura is a popular option because it will create a rounder and more integrated cocktail than other options you can find on the market.

Different Manhattan Variations

You should know that the Manhattan cocktail features three essential ingredients, including whiskey that brings richness, vermouth that is highly sweet and bitter, to balance the first two.

Therefore, you can create a wide array of variations such as bourbon Manhattan on the rocks while obtaining the classic approach and flavor.

It would be best if you understood more about popular options, including:

  • Scotch Manhattan – A bartender in Waldorf Astoria created a Rob Roy Manhattan or scotch option as an ode to Scottish folk hero and outlaw. It uses scotch whiskey instead of bourbon or rye.
  • The Perfect – You can choose this option that requires a fifty-fifty blend of dry and sweet vermouths instead of only the sweet one. This change can affect the overall flavor and sweetness, which is something you can see.
  • Dry – When it comes to dry, you probably understand that it uses completely dry vermouth instead of fifty-fifty as in a Perfect cocktail. It comes with less sweet flavor; you will get bitter, herby, and rich taste original one.