My brother had a milestone birthday this month, and asked me to make him a Manhattan cocktail. You may not know this about me, but I’m a master cocktail mixer, if I do say so myself – LOL. I have no formal training but I have a fascination with vintage cocktails, and I’ve collected a few cocktail books over the years. Heck, I’ve even written one, Cocktails: 40 Glamorous Recipes.

I’ve learned that if you follow the directions to a tee, the cocktails come out beautifully. It’s when people overpour the booze that things start to get wonky.

My brother’s friend gifted him a bottle of special Kentucky bourbon when we moved back across the country. He told him to save it for a special occasion, and this most definitely was it.

There are two types of Manhattan cocktails, a modern and an old-fashioned. My bro prefers the modern Manhattan which is dryer.

Here are both recipes if you want to give them a taste.

Two Manhattan Cocktails

Modern Manhattan
2 ounces of bourbon
1 ounce of dry vermouth (French white)
A couple of drops of Angostura bitters
A twist of lemon

Put the bitters in the bottom of a chilled martini glass. Mix the bourbon and vermouth with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour into the glass and add the lemon rind.

Old-Fashioned Manhattan
2 ounces of whiskey
1 ounce of sweet vermouth (Italian red)
Garnish with a maraschino cherry

Put the whiskey and vermouth into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and add the cherry.

If you order a Manhattan in a bar or restaurant, they usually will bring you the old-fashioned Manhattan. If you want the Modern Manhattan, you need to specify to the bartender that you want a dry Manhattan.

Have you ever tried a Manhattan? What’s your favorite cocktail?