The Manhattan Cocktail originated in the late 19th century, specifically in the 1870s and quickly became a popular choice with the drinking public. David A Embury, author of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, a classic encyclopedia of the 20th century cocktail, mentioned it as one the six basic drinks in his book. What makes the Manhattan so popular, is the appealing combination of alcohol in the drink. Consisting of whiskey, bitters and sweet vermouth it has a distinct taste loved by many a discriminating cocktail drinker.
The Manhattan cocktail was invented at The Manhattan club in New York city by Dr. Ian Marshall. This cocktail was invented at a banquet for Lady Randolph Churchill (the mother of Winston Churchill) and it soon became enormously fashionable. Since the cocktail was not named then, people started referring it to as the Manhattan cocktail as it was first served at The Manhattan Club. There still are many controversies about its origin though. It is also suggested that The Manhattan may have been served as early as the 1860′s at a bar called Broadway near Houston street. The drink is also named a Tennessee cocktail in the book shake’em up originally published in 1930 by V. Elliot.
Manhattans are usually served in a low ball glass on the rocks. The Manhattan cocktail is very simple to make. It takes less than 3 minutes and is delicious.
To make a Manhattan to will need:
Vermouth and Whiskey in 2:1 ratio, a few (2-3) dashes of bitters and 2-3 ice cubes. Stir them in low ball glass and garnish with a cherry. A traditional Manhattan is always stirred. Back in 19th century rye was used in a Manhattan, however now bourbon is more frequently used. Canadian whiskey is also a good substitute for rye to make the cocktail.
There are several variations of Manhattan that are also worth trying. A Dry Manhattan, a Brandy Manhattan to name a few though there are many more. Though traditionally a stirred cocktail, bartenders have begun presenting it more creatively and it is common now a days to see it shaken to create froth on the top of the cocktail. By no means traditional, it is still a tasty variation though sure to offend purists. If you haven’t tried a Manhattan you should definitely give it a try next time you are out with friends at your local cocktail bar! We bet you enjoy it.