Make Mine a Manhattan Holiday

If you can’t make it to Manhattan for the holidays, bring Manhattan to a glass near you. Who would have thought there could be more than a handful of variations on the classic Manhattan recipe?  This tried and true favorite has been tweaked, pinched, played with and adapted in so many ways it becomes difficult to decipher where the classic begins and ends. With so many degrees in flavor preference and style, the base recipe sees adjustment with flavored liqueurs, juices and additional spirits.

The variations of Manhattan recipes below bring a wide variety of contrasting styles to the forefront while keeping to the thread of at least one thing in common; bourbon.  The first few closely match the classic Manhattan with call brands. After that the Manhattan gets a little more interesting.

Praline Pecan Pie created by Cheri Loughlin photo copyright Cheri LoughlinThe Woodford Manhattan

2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon

1 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Angostura Bitters

1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters

Splash of Cherry Juice

Bourbon Infused Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with bourbon infused cherry.

Stags Leap - Red Stag - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinWild Turkey Manhattan

2 ounces Wild Turkey Bourbon

1 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Maraschino Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Knob Creek Manhattan

2-1/2 ounces Knob Creek Bourbon

3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth

Dash Angostura Bitters

Maraschino Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

The Maker’s Mark Manhattan

1-1/2 ounces Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Formula

1 teaspoon Maraschino Cherry Juice

Maraschino Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Buffalo Manhattan via Omaha - Buffalo Trace - Carpano - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinBuffalo in Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Buffalo Trace Bourbon

1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth or Dry Vermouth

Dash of Bitters

Maraschino Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

The Woodford Mediterranean Manhattan

2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon

1 ounce Tuaca Liqueur

1/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

Lemon Twist

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Stranahan's Manhattan - created by Cheri Loughlin photo property of Cheri LoughlinItalian Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1/2 ounce Amaretto

1/4 ounce Maraschino Cherry Juice

Cherry & Orange Slice Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass or serve over fresh ice in rocks glass. Garnish with skewered cherry and orange slice.

Manhattan with Red Stag - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinPreakness Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/4 ounce Brandy

1/2 ounce Benedictine

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon Twist Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Myong’s Manhattan – created by Myong Park

2 ounces Evan Williams Bourbon

1/2 ounce Lillet Rouge

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Aperol

Orange Twist Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Bourbon - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinSainted Manhattan

3 ounces Eagle Rare Bourbon

3/4 ounce St-Germain

3/4 ounce Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

Dash Angostura Bitters

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass.

Esquire Manhattan

2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon

1 ounce Cinzano Red Vermouth

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 dash Pernod 68 Absinthe

Lemon Peel Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with thin cut lemon peel over the top.

Rat Pack Manhattan photo copyright Cheri LoughlinRat Pack Manhattan

2 ounces Elmer T Lee Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

Splash Grand Marnier

Maraschino Cherry & Orange Zest Garnish

Place ice in martini glass. Add Grand Marnier. Swirl liqueur in glass to rinse and throw out. Place bourbon and vermouths in mixing glass with ice. Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into prepared martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry and fresh orange zest.

Rat Pack Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Makers Mark Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes of Bitters

Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

New Orleans Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Frangelico

Cherry Garnish

Place ice in martini glass. Add Frangelico. Swirl liqueur in glass to rinse and throw out. Place bourbon and vermouth in mixing glass with ice. Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into prepared martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Chambord Manhattan

2 ounces Bourbon

1 ounce Chambord

Dash of Bitters

Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Dubonnet Manhattan

3/4 ounce Dubonnet Rouge

1-3/4 ounce Evan Williams Bourbon

1/4 ounce Dry Vermouth

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon Twist & Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist and cherry.

Beam Black Cherry Manhattan

2 ounces Jim Beam Bourbon

1 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1 ounce Dry Vermouth

Splash Grenadine

Cherry & Stuffed Olive Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass or serve over fresh ice in rocks glass. Garnish with skewered cherry and stuffed olive.

Fusion Manhattan

2 ounces X-Rated Fusion Liqueur

1 ounce Maker’s Mark Bourbon

2 dashes Bitters

Squeezed Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Squeeze cherry and drop into cocktail.

Knob Creek Cherry-infused Manhattan

Cherry-infused Knob Creek Bourbon

1/2 – 3/4 bottle Knob Creek Bourbon

1/2 quart jar Maraschino Cherries

Drain 3/4 of the maraschino cherry juice from the jar of cherries. Pour enough Knob Creek Bourbon into the jar to refill the jar. Put the lid on the jar and allow to set for two days.

Cherry-infused Knob Creek Bourbon Manhattan

1-1/4 ounce Cherry-infused Knob Creek Bourbon

1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes Bitters

Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Makers Mark Manhattan - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinBiscayne Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

2 ounces Orange Juice

Several Dashes Yellow Chartreuse

Orange Slice Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange slice.

Blue Grass Blues Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

3 dashes Blue Curacao

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon or Orange Twist

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon or orange twist according to preference

Manhattan photo copyright Cheri LoughlinWild Turkey Rare Manhattan

2 ounces Wild Turkey Rare Breed

3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Sherry

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon Twist

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

The Woodford French Manhattan

2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon

1 ounce Chambord

Dash of Bitters

Cherry or Lemon Twist Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry or lemon twist according to preference

Boardwalk Manhattan with Canadian Club adapted by Cheri Loughlin - photo copyright Cheri LoughlinSatin Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

Lemon Twist

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Blood Orange Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bulleit Bourbon

1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1-1/2 ounce Blood Orange Mixer

Dash Blood Orange Bitters

Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Red Manhattan

2 ounces Red Stag by Jim Beam Infused Bourbon

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

Black Cherry Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Boulevard Manhattan

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

1/4 ounce Grand Marnier

1/4 ounce Dry Vermouth

3 dashes Orange Bitters

Cherry & Orange Twist Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry and orange twist.

Westchester Manhattan

2 ounces Bourbon

1/4 ounce Dry Vermouth

1/4 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Cherry or Lemon Twist Garnish

Place liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference until completely chilled. Strain into chilled martini glass or serve over fresh ice in rocks glass. Garnish with cherry or lemon twist according to preference.

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