Outsider Cocktails: The Classic Manhattan

by Jim Casey
photo by Outsider

If you’re a fan of an Old Fashioned (bourbon or rye), add its kissing cousin—the Manhattan—to your cast of whiskey cocktails. Both drinks date back to the 1800s and share a trifecta of root ingredients (rye whiskey, bitters, maraschino cherry). However, the Manhattan utilizes sweet vermouth (herbal wine) in place of an Old Fashioned’s simple syrup.

And, traditionally, an Old Fashioned is served on the rocks (with ice), while a Manhattan is served up (chilled). I’m convinced the Manhattan would be as popular as the Old Fashioned if the cocktail wasn’t typically served in a coupe glass (which I personally hate drinking out of). Nevertheless, the Manhattan is a delicious cocktail, regardless of its vessel. And, I’ve found the answer to my coupe glass conundrum: the footed rocks glass.

Let’s get mixing.

Ingredients: Classic Manhattan With Rye

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • maraschino cherry
  • ice
  • coupe glass or footed rocks glass
  • mixing glass & bar spoon

Today, we’re using Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond Rye, a tasty, affordable, easy-to-find rye whiskey. Feel free to use your favorite rye. A few more of our go-to ryes that are tasty, affordable, and readily available include Old Overholt, Old Forester, and George Dickel.

In addition, we’re using Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Rouge, Fee Brothers Bitters, and Luxardo Maraschino Cherries.


Add 2 dashes of bitters into a mixing glass (image 1). Pour 2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye into the mixing glass (2). Pour 1 oz. sweet vermouth into the mixing glass (3). Add a handful of ice (4).

Stir for 30 seconds (image 5). Strain into a footed rocks glass (6). Garnish with a maraschino cherry (7). Cheers (8).

Enjoy your Manhattan masterpiece—in a coupe glass (left) or footed rocks glass (right).