Make it a Manhattan kind of night and the highlight of any Happy Hour with the Basil Hayden Bourbon take on the classic cocktail. Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

I find the Manhattan cocktail recipe certainly an extremely intriguing one. And it also was subject to constant change and updates. Whiskey, Vermouth, and cocktail bitters are the main components. But ratios changed over time, and so did additional ingredients. The most popular additions were drops of gum syrup, Curacao, or even Absinthe. And along with the different number of elements changed the ratios of Whiskey and Vermouth. The evolution of the Manhattan recipe is like a rollercoaster.

In the 1900s, the recipe changed once more. -Gum syrup and Absinthe were put aside, and Angostura bitters replaced orange bitters. Canadian Whiskey took over the lead in the Manhattan Cocktail as it was easier to get your hands on during prohibition. Even in the post-prohibition era, many kept using Canadian Whiskey for its smooth taste.

Over time the Whiskey choice changed to Bourbon, and then back to Rye Whiskey again. A Bourbon’s flavor profile works well with the rich and sweet taste of Vermouth. But it creates a drink that is more on the sweet side.

That is one reason why, today, the classic Manhattan cocktail recipe uses Rye Whiskey as a base. Another reason is that Rye was most likely the Whiskey used originally. But then, that’s just a guess based on the fact that Rye Whiskey generally was the preferred choice in New York.

You’ll need:

50ml Basil Hayden’s or Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
25ml sweet red vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel, to garnish (optional)
Maraschino cherry, to garnish (optional)


Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour all the ingredients (except the garnishes) over the ice and quickly stir the drink down to the dilution you like.
Strain the drink into a chilled coupette. If you don’t have a strainer, any kitchen sieve will work just as well.
If using, twist a piece of orange peel over the drink to extract the oils and release the aroma, then discard the peel. Top the Manhattan with a maraschino cherry to serve.

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