2 Manhattan cocktails up close

The Manhattan Cocktail

The American 1860’s Tincture Fashionable Still

The Manhattan Cocktail is a highly gratifying and appropriate ‘get-together’ potion if ever there was one.

A close up of a wine glass, with Manhattan

Link to some of my other cocktail recipes, including

my most popular cocktail post for PIRATES PUNCH!









The Manhattan Cocktail is the 1860s tincture, fashionable still, the architect however remains of rumored origin. Regardless of its maker, New Year’s Day celebrations call for a toast of some libation or another. Well, any celebration calls for a toast of some libation or another really!

A friend from the UK who recently visited was kind enough to gift me a rather exhilarating basket filled with all the necessaries for a Bourbon Whiskey variation of the Manhattan Cocktail, American Rye Whiskey being the traditional elixir of purist opinion. Right down to a tiny jar of Luxardo Maraschino cherries and a swish cocktail spoon, this goody basket had everything cradled inside except Toto. Cheers, friends!

bottle of bourbon
2 Manhattan cocktails up close
A close up of a handcart
A bar cart was among my first purchases when I moved out on my own. A friend ‘advised’ me that I absolutely needed one. I still have a bar cart and love to dress it festively for different occasions and to celebrate different holidays and seasons.
Luxardo cherries…worth…every…penny…

After years of delighting in Luxardo cherries at swank cocktail parties, I finally had a little jar of my own.  Oh, and he tucked these CUTE cocktail picks inside, too. LOVE. The Luxardos seemed a bit of a splurge upon hearing that jar lid ‘pop’ when I initially opened them.  But a proper Manhattan Cocktail requires so few ingredients, that quality naught be sacrificed. And long after my friend departed, I was still mastering the mixation so to speak. A Manhattan is a cocktail traditionally fashioned with American Rye whiskey, sweet Vermouth, and Angostura bitters. In this version, I am using American Bourbon Whiskey. The cocktail is preferably stirred with cube ice, then strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with a Maraschino cherry.

A close up of a knife
A proper Manhattan Cocktail requires so few ingredients, that quality naught be sacrificed.

Today, and in this Bourbon Whisky version of the iconic mix, one of five cocktails named for a New York City borough. The history of the Manhattan is blurred. In fact, if any readers were inclined to shed light beyond what I know to print here, weigh in. The one thing most agree on is the round about age of this blend, generally dating to the 1860’s or very shortly thereafter.

I highly recommend Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails if it’s not already in your collection. It is still the book I reference for just about EVERYTHING…
The Manhattan is one of five cocktails named for a New York City borough. The others include The Bronx, The Brooklyn, The Queens, and The Staten Island. Drink one of each and you’ll be well traveled…

Later, during Prohibition, the Manhattan gained great popularity, maybe for no other reason than its ingredients were forbidden. Regardless, I have become quite smart at correctly proportioning my liquors to my bitters and am only too happy to share here in time for New Year’s. After all, nearly every one of us will ring in midnight to “Auld Lang Syne” so only fitting to match the mirth with the memories.  Oh, and I prefer two of the Luxardo cherries in my Manhattan. please.

Manhattan and Tincture
Manhattan and Tincture

The Manhattan Cocktail

The American 1860's Tincture, Fashionable Still
Print Recipe Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 5 minutes, alcohol, beverage, bitters, Bourbon, classic bar drink, cocktail, drink, libation, Manhattan, party cocktails, shaker drinks, Vermouth, Whiskey
Servings: 1 perfect Manhattan cocktail
Calories: 207kcal

Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.


Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy. 

    Ingredients for A Classic Manhattan Cocktail


    The Method


    Serving: 1servings | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

    Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

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