A recipe for a Manhattan was published in some of the early 1880s bartenders’ guides. Basically, it required the addition of vermouth to a whisky cocktail. Canadian Club whisky was used as an alternative during prohibition when rye was unavailable. The origins of the name are unclear—some say it was created in 1874 at the Manhattan Club, New York, for Lady Randolph Churchill, who held a banquet there to honor the politician Samuel J. Tilden. Today, the accepted recipe for this pre-dinner drink needs a sweet vermouth but there is another version, called a Dry Manhattan, made with a dry vermouth, which was more popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and also the Perfect Manhattan—a mixture of dry and sweet vermouth.

Salvatore Calabrese Manhattan Cocktail crop


  • 50ml Rye Whisky
  • 20ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dash Angostura bitters


Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice, add the Angostura bitters, stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. For a dry Manhattan garnish with a twist of lemon and for the Perfect Manhattan, a twist of lemon and a maraschino cherry. Salute!