Classic Manhattan Recipe

manhattan with bitters


2 ounces bourbon or rye
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 dashes Bitters Lab Charred Cedar & Currant bitters
Garnish: brandied cherry


  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with a brandied cherry.


The Manhattan, as with many classic cocktails, is surrounded by quite a bit of lore. It is said that it was invented in the late 1870s or early 1880s in the Manhattan Club in New York (thus the name). It is said it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall during a banquet honoring presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

There are prior references to similar cocktail recipes also called a “Manhattan." Some say it was invented earlier, in the 1860s, by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway.

Additionally, another record of the cocktail can be found later in William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl, published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum syrup, 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, ​23 portion of whiskey, and ​13 portion of vermouth.

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