Manhattan Recipe and Old-Fashioned Recipe

How to make a Manhattan | a basic Manhattan recipe

Manhattan’s and Old-Fashioned’s are masculine and strong cocktails that should be in everyone’s cocktail making repetoire.   Don’t get freaked out, these are quite simple to make and can take as delicious, if not MORE delicious, than your favorite bar’s version.

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After a long hard week, I love to unwind by making myself a gorgeous cocktail, sitting by the fire, and listening to a book for a few minutes. An old-fashioned is one of my personal favorites because it reminds me of days gone by, black & white films, and old-school actresses. 

You can find [easyazon_link identifier=”B00B1L36IU” locale=”US”]bitters[/easyazon_link] at your local liquor store.  If you don’t know where to look, just ask the clerk!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Sugar cubes and water can be substituted for simple syrup in these drinks.
  • Rub your rims with orange peel.  This gives a little added flavor and complexity to the cocktail.
  • Don’t stir these drinks too much, or fill them with ice!  You’ll water down the drink and “cloud” it.  Just stir a bit and put in enough ice to cool the drink. Better yet, try flavored ice cubes or frozen fruit.
How to make a Manhattan | a basic Manhattan recipe

Manhattan Recipe

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  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • orange peel
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Gently mix sweet vermouth, bourbon, and bitters in a chilled glass.
  • Add cherry.
  • Garnish with orange peel.


Manhattans are traditionally served in a martini glass, though often people ask to have them served in low ball glasses on ice. Either way is just fine!

 Manhattan Recipe Variations:

  • Bourbon Manhattan Recipe:  Substitute bourbon for the rye whiskey.
  • Black Manhattan Recipe:  Substitute amaro for the sweet vermouth.
How to make a Manhattan | a basic Manhattan recipe


Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon club soda or water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 dashes bitters
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Mix the sugar, bitters, and soda (or water) together in a chilled low-ball glass with a bit of ice.
  • Add the bourbon and gently stir.
  • Garnish with an orange.

 Old-fashioned Recipe variations:

  • Old-fashioned sweet:  This variation adds cherry juice to the mix.  Use the same amount of cherry juice as bourbon.
  • Maple old-fashioned:  Take out the sugar and water and substitute it for a tablespoon of maple syrup. One of my favorite drinks at a local bar uses a maple-infused bourbon…yum!
  • Mint Julep:  This is a very popular bourbon drink that is similar to an old-fashioned.  Skip the bitters, and instead muddle several mint leaves in the bottom of the glass with your sugar and water.  This drink is best with TONS of ice.  (Muddling is basically just crushing everything together to extract the juices.  Keep the leaves in the glass when you serve it.)

Don’t forget to check out our absolutely most popular cocktails… Sex on a Snowbank and the Lemon Drop. I think you’ll love serving these up at your next dinner.

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