Cocktail Corner

How to make the perfect Manhattan

Donald Trump’s White House Clown Show has been shuttered shut for a while now, and whilst the Oval Office staff are still picking rusk crumbs and bits of bitten Lego from out of the shag pile carpet, we continue to toast its timely demise with a parade of tasty American cocktails. One of our go-to, stateside sippers is the Manhattan, one of the finest whiskey–based cocktails you could wish to pass your lips.

The origins of the Manhattan cocktail have been lost in the mists of time, with various fanciful stories made up around the inception of the drink – one of them being that it was rustled up in Manhattan’s Manhattan Club at a party held by Winston Churchill’s mother. It’s a story that has been widely debunked, but if we were to hazard a guess, we’d say the cocktail was almost certainly thrown together by a bartender and we’d stick our neck and say that it was probably made in Manhattan.

Rye whiskey is widely regarded as the booze to use, and one of our favourite ryes at the moment hails from the Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, based in Loudoun County, North Virginia. They have an array of excellent whiskeys on their rosta (the Distiller’s Edition in particular is an absolute belter) but for building our Manhattan we pitched in with the Roundstone Rye 80 Proof. Our vermouth of choice is Carpano sweet red Italian vermouth – a dark, rich fruity beauty. Not cheap by any means, but worth every drop.

How to make the perfect Manhattan.

Catoctin Roundstone Rye 80 Proof (or your favorite rye)
Carpano vermouth (or vermouth of your choice)
Angostura Bitters
Mascherano Cherries


  1. Add 2 oz rye whiskey, 1 oz vermouth and a dash of bitters to a stirring jug containing crushed iced.
  2. Add a teaspoon of mascherano cherry juice from your pot of cherries (to add a touch of sweetness).
  3. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass or suitably stumpy tumbler.
  4. Fling a speared Mascherano cherry into the glass.
  5. Transfer contents from glass to gullet, via mouth.


Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye is available from The Whiskey Exchange.

Roundstone Rye 80 Proof
40% ABV, 700ml

Roundstone Rye Distiller’s Edition 92 Proof
46% ABV, 700ml

Roundstone Rye Cask Proof
58% ABV, 700ml

Get your Carpano vermouth HERE

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