Manhattan Special Cocktail

Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Manhattan Special Cocktail calls for cocktail glass serve. The particular evening I sampled the Manhattan Special I was feeling a bit more on the rocks than swooning over a cocktail. It was a beautiful evening spent out on the deck with moderate temperatures. It felt like the perfect evening for an oversized glass with oversized ice ball and a very special variation on the classic Manhattan.

The Manhattan Special Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that! Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that! Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Just a note… as my friend Tom Ufer commented, the Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that!

Manhattan Special

1-1/2 ounce Rye or Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Benedictine

1 dash Classic Bitters

Cherry Garnish – optional

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir until completely chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

By the way… that Jupiter look was made by first placing a large ice ball in a slightly oversized, rounded glass. Pour rye over ice ball followed by vermouth and Benedictine. Do not stir. Add dash of bitters. {I added about 3 dashes of bitters and no cherry}. Watch the rings just start to float around the ice ball.

Manhattan Special Cocktail Notes

I opted for Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey at 100 proof for the Manhattan Special. Rittenhouse is an affordable rye with cinnamon notes. Benedictine and vermouth carry the cinnamon notes to a higher level with enough weight and sweetness to smooth out any rough edges in the rye.

What Makes My Manhattan Special ?

People ask me all the time, “What is your favorite bourbon.” The short answer; I don’t have a favorite bourbon. I have favorite bourbons for favorite recipes. My bar cabinet is stocked with five, six or maybe ten different brands at any given time. These are the bourbons I purchase, not bourbon samples. The longer, more accurate answer; I have particular bourbons I favor for particular drinks. I have particular glasses I favor for particular drinks and cocktails, too.

Maker's Mark Manhattan with Carpano Antica Formula is just one variation of a classic Manhattan - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Maker’s Mark Manhattan with Carpano Antica Formula is just one variation of a classic Manhattan – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

My typical Manhattan is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Carpano Antica Formula and usually Angostura Bitters. The cherry might be one of my Bourbon Spiced Cherries, a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry, or one of those regular every day ice cream topper cherries you find at the grocery store. I might even skip the cherry.

Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan uses Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Praline Pecan Pie Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Twist - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan uses Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Praline Pecan Pie Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Twist – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

I also make a Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan cocktail variation with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Praline Pecan Liqueur with orange twist that is heavenly. {That is my opinion, of course. Sample it and tell me your thoughts, please!}

Then again I venture way off course with Tony Abou-Ganim’s Just For Mary cocktail. Look closely at the ingredients and you find the awesomely delicious wayward Manhattan; (ri)1 Straight Rye Whiskey, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Lillet Blanc, Orange Bitters and Brandied Cherry Garnish. Trust me. It is a must try more than once kind of cocktail. I have.

So really, I don’t have one favorite bourbon. I have several bourbons I like to drink neat, on the rocks and in cocktails. They all taste a little different and I choose them like I choose a pair of shoes. Am I feeling laid back? Dressy? Spicy? Sassy? Bourbons are the same. They are spicy, sophisticated, sweet, dry, rounded, floral, dry, etc. You name it, bourbon has it. There is a recipe and mood to fit it. Choose wisely. Stir it. Sip it. Enjoy it. Try it again.

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