Manhattan Drink Recipe Ideas You’re Going to Love

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In the mood for some different Manhattan drink recipe ideas? We can’t think of many cocktails finer than the Manhattan.  This classic favorite offers a great starting point to get creative!  So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what your palate truly appreciates.

Say hello to a couple of cocktail enthusiasts we’ve brought along for the ride today: photographer Nikki G. Davidson (@cocktailcrafty) and David Mor (@davidmmor), Beverage Manager at Cindy’s in Chicago, Illinois (@cindysrooftop). We think you’ll enjoy their Instagram posts tremendously, so follow them now for terrific photos and must-try recipes.

Manhattan 101: The Basics

In case you’ve never concocted this cocktail yourself, here’s the foundation.  A Manhattan has just three basic ingredients: whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters (plus maybe a fun and tasty garnish).  But those three components offer a lot of scope for imagination, don’t they?  Our pros suggest not only some combinations they love, but also helpful pointers on how to choose options that play well together.  Let’s get mixing!

Manhattan Drink Recipe Ideas: Try these!

Manhattan Drink Recipe Ideas

We’re glad you’re here, Rob Roy. Looking good. [Photo cred: @cocktailcrafty]

A Manhattan By Any Other Name…

 Rob Roy

 Nikki says, “I like to think of a Rob Roy as the scotch Manhattan. I love pairing a peaty Islay scotch with a rich Antica sweet vermouth. It’s a bold and full-bodied Manhattan-style cocktail. I often order a Manhattan as an after-dinner drink. I can’t think of a more perfect way to end a great meal.”


●       2 Parts Scotch

●       1 Part sweet vermouth

●       2 Dashes orange bitters

●       Orange peel garnish


Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass or over rocks. Garnish and enjoy!


 The “Mellow” Manhattan

David is right when he says, “In a lot of ways, the Manhattan really doesn’t need a new take or twist since it’s such a delicious cocktail on its own.” He continues, “I do, however, like to enjoy a more mellowed-out version occasionally.  I like to play with this recipe to please the guests at the bar.”


●       2 oz. Wild Turkey 101 Rye

●       .5 oz. Carpano Classico

●       .5 oz. Dolin Dry

●       2 Dashes Angostura Bitters


Stir all ingredients over ice until well-integrated. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass; garnish with a skewered and brandied cherry.


Invite some Bourbon to Manhattan!

Nikki adds, “The thing that I love about the Manhattan is that you can create a different version every time by simply changing the bourbon and sweet vermouth pairing. I think you have to really consider the flavor profile of each product. For example, if you’re using an Antica Formula sweet vermouth, you’ll want a bourbon that isn’t going to get lost in the Antica’s richness. In this case, I want a bourbon that’s been aged a bit longer. I usually check what vermouths a bar is using before calling my bourbon. I want a Manhattan that is well-balanced and allows the spirits to support each other.” That’s some great advice, you guys. Don’t forget about it.

David suggests, “The reason rye whiskey works so well for a Manhattan is that the qualities of this grain bring out spicy and complex notes that really balance the bold juiciness of sweet vermouth. However, there are plenty of great bourbons out there that can do the same! For example, Four Roses Single Barrel imparts flavors of toasted oat, cinnamon, and charred lemon pith. These qualities can act even better than a rye with the correct supplements.” Listen up; this man knows. Here’s David’s “Solid Recipe.”


●       2 oz. Four Roses Single Barrel

●       1 oz. Cocchi Torino

●       2 Dashes Bitter Queens Sarsaparilla Bitters


Stir all ingredients over ice until well-integrated. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass; garnish with a skewered and brandied cherry.


Ending on a Whiskey Note

No matter your Manhattan, it’s going to look amazing in one of Prestige Decanters’ hand-blown whiskey glasses. Our unique, handcrafted decanters make quite a statement as well! Are you really into mixing it up for your friends and family? These beauties are guaranteed to make your home bar legit!

If you’re looking for more whiskey talk, check out one of our latest blogs, Whiskey Rocks: A Few Crazy Options You Should Try.

Any other Manhattan drink recipe alternatives out there? Discovered a winning combination you really love?  Don’t keep it to yourself! Share the love below!


About Author

Each decanter is handcrafted and hand-blown, formed into designs limited only by imagination. We never skip steps to cut costs either. Instead, our decanters are made the hard way because quality takes effort and that’s what you deserve. Whether you are looking for a statement piece for your home bar or shopping for something elegant for that special loved one, our decanters are always a timeless gift. If you're searching for style, inspired craftsmanship, and a transformative piece of art that also elevates the flavor profile of your favorite wines and spirits, look no further.

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