How to Make a Manhattan

High-quality ingredients and the perfect ratio of whiskey to vermouth are the secrets to this classic cocktail.

Though there seems to be a debate about how to make the perfect Manhattan, once your decisions are made, mixing one up is super-easy. Two things to keep in mind for this cocktail: Use high-quality ingredients and carefully construct the ratio of whiskey to vermouth.

get the app.

Watch on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Roku, or Fire TV.

Learn More

1 To Shake or Stir?

The shake method involves placing your ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a lot of ice and giving them a good shake before pouring into a prepared glass. The stir method involves combining all ingredients in an ice-filled glass, stirring them together and straining the mixture into a prepared glass.  

For this how-to, try the shaker method, as it ensures a perfectly chilled cocktail. To get started, simply fill a cocktail shaker to the brim with ice cubes. 


2 Shake It Up

Next, pour in  2 1/2 ounces of whiskey, 1 ounce of Italian sweet vermouth, and a couple dashes of bitters. Be careful not to get heavy-handed with your pours, as the ratio of whiskey to vermouth is important for this cocktail.

Try straight bourbon instead of a whiskey blend. Straight bourbon provides a smoother and richer flavor, while bitters, a concentrated mixture of alcohol, herbs, and spices, add flavor depth and complexity.

3 Pour It Out

Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass, either martini-type or lowball. Regardless of your glass of choice, do be sure to chill it. Place glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes before preparing your Manhattans, as this helps keep your cocktails well chilled.

4 Garnish & Enjoy

Garnish your Manhattan with the traditional maraschino cherry and make a toast! You’ve made a perfectly mixed Manhattan.

Find more helpful how-tos here »

Plus: Get the full recipe for this Manhattan » 

Don't Miss: 

• How to Make a Martini » 
• How to Make Caramel » 
• How to Cook a Ham » 

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.