The Manhattan Cocktail is an old classic drink that has stood the test of time for one reason-its damn good! Oh and its so easy! So many cocktails these days have 25 ingredients and need random things like green tea syrup. I mean who has time to make that especially if you have little kids running around or if you are old like me and just exhausted.

I have to thank my dear childhood friend, Kristy, for the inspiration to starting drinking this luscious drink again. I kinda got into a rut with dirty martinis or old fashioneds, which I still love, but needed a change. Don’t get me wrong, a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned are very similar, but I tend to not get a headache with a Manhattan.

One thing I have learned the older I have gotten is it is worth it to spend the money and buy GOOD liquor. Don’t waste your money on the cheap crap. It’s not worth the headache the next day! With that being said I have found that Woodford Reserve (which is a really high end bourbon) gives me a massive headache the next day. No cocktail is worth ruining your day. Life is too short as we have all found with Covid.

Some Bourbons we have in the cabinet

Another thing I have found, thanks to my self described “cherry snob” friend Kristy is use good cherries. And you know what, when I found GOOD cherries, not the fake maraschino cherries, it does take the cocktail to the next level. And let’s face it if you have a really good cocktail you only need one, that is unless a global pandemic hits and then all bets are off. But, my point is, buy the expensive cherries! You only use one per drink and they last months. My friend loves Luxardo cherries, but I have found that the brand of cherry, Amarena, is fabulous as well. I found them at Eataly. Now, if you are on a budget I have found the ones at Trader Joes are really not bad! And CHEAP! Just don’t ruin your drink and waste all that good bourbon by putting maraschino cherries in it.

Want another trick? I like just a hint of orange in my drink so I use Orange bitters, but you can absolutely use regular bitters. It just cuts the sweet of the bourbon.

Here is the Vermouth I like. You can find this at any liquor store.

Hope you like this recipe!

Manhattan Cocktail

Servings 1


  • 2 oz Bourbon or rye
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Orange Angstroa Bitters
  • 1 cherry


  1. Place all ingredients, except cherry, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds.

  2. Strain into a martini glass and serve with a cherry.

Needed Items