While the origins of the Manhattan cocktail remain somewhat foggy, most attribute its creation to the Manhattan Club, a social club founded in Manhattan in 1865. It pairs whiskey with sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters, and is typically garnished with cherries--the best you can lay your hands on.
Manhattans can be made with bourbon or rye (if you make one with Scotch whisky, it’s called a Rob Roy). We’re partial to rye, as we find its zesty spice plays well with the bitter and herbal elements in vermouth. This version from mixologist Nic Christiansen pairs Barrell Craft Spirits’ big-boned rye whiskey with the softening influence of Contratto Vermouth Rosso. A two-to-one ratio of Angostura to orange bitters brings out even more dimension.
1 oz Contratto Vermouth Rosso
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Orange Bitters
Strip of orange peel
Three Luxardo cherries, for garnish
Combine rye, vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass, fill with ice, and stir. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express orange peel over glass. Garnish with Luxardo cherries.