The Manhattan cocktail appeared sometime in the 1880s. It is one of those drinks whose true history we will probably never know, although there is a big clue in the name. It was almost certainly created in New York. It did then, and has ever since, consist of: whiskey (American Rye by tradition), vermouth (sweet or a “perfect” combination of sweet and dry, don’t be tempted to try just dry, that really doesn’t work) and bitters. It is stirred with ice and served straight up with a cherry. Perfect in its simplicity, it is probably impossible to be improved upon.
50ml Rye whiskey
25ml Sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and serve. If you want to make your cocktail a littler sweeter, you can add a dash of maraschino cherry syrup (no more than 5ml) when mixing.