Best Whiskey For Manhattan Cocktails 


By  admin

Of all whiskey-based classic cocktails, the Manhattan is one of the most stylish yet simple drinks you can get or make. This modest and delightful drink is habitually made with only four ingredients: whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and garnish. Traditionally the cocktail is made with rye whiskey, but this has changed over time, and you could use almost any whiskey. Ultimately, using the best whiskey for Manhattan to make the cocktail can take your experiences to another level.

There are many whiskey options to make the Manhattan. For that reason, we have compiled an educative guide on the same for the ideal cocktail recipes. But before we dive into the best whiskeys for Manhattan, let's understand the meaning of Manhattan.

What is a Manhattan?

A Manhattan is a cocktail made using whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. The Manhattan cocktail was first created in the 1880s at the Manhattan Club in New York. Manhattan loves always prefer to use rye whiskies to make their cocktails. However, there are other whiskey choices such as bourbon, blended whiskey, Tennessee whiskey and Canadian whiskey.

Using th sweet vermouth to make the cocktail helps keep the drink fairly dry and adds sweetness. Additionally, the vermouth adds a certain flavor to the Manhattan that makes people love the drink even more.

Ultimately, using the best whiskey for manhattan guarantees that you make a refreshing drink. In light of the role of the whiskey while making Manhattan, read on for our top eight recommendations in this category.

What is the best whiskey for manhattan?

1. RITUAL ZERO PROOF Whiskey Alternative

RITUAL ZERO PROOF Whiskey Alternative | Award-Winning Non-Alcoholic Spirit | 25.4 Fl Oz (750ml) |...
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The Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey is a popular and perfect whiskey option for making Manhattan. It is a rich spice and soul-warming heat American whiskey that will make great new-fashioned cocktails taste just like the old-fashioned ones.

This whiskey gives you a sharp flood of creamy spiced rye, followed by a subtler and gentler taste. It is mainly made using all-natural flavors of vanilla, stone fruit, and sugar floss, which help smooth the body and warm the heart. This natural flavor makes it an excellent option for the best whiskey for Manhattan.


  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Made with natural sugars
  • Good for six months after opening
  • Has a very strong flavor and taste.


  • Doesn't taste enough like whiskey 

2. MONDAY Zero Whiskey – A Non-Alcoholic Spirit

MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin – A Non-Alcoholic Spirit for the Spirited Ones - 750ml
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Monday Zero whiskey is another perfect option for making a manhattan cocktail. This product is not alcoholic, and it complies with all FDA labeling requirements, meaning all the ingredients are listed on the label.

The whiskey has a very sweet smell like caramel or baking spices, especially cinnamon. However, you should take into account that this product is completely sugar-free. The whiskey works flawlessly if you are making a cocktail. This whiskey will give you old-fashioned balanced flavors that make it even perfect.


  • Refreshing
  • Doesn't contain artificial sugars
  • Fresh taste
  • The classic rye has dried fruit aromas that are great
  • Easy to store
  • These best whiskeys are great for making an original recipe of the Manhatten.


  • This does not taste remotely like gin.

3. Canadian Organic Maple Syrup -Month Whiskey Barrel 

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Canadian Organic Maple Syrup -Month Whiskey Barrel is another perfect option that you could choose from. This Canadian whiskey is 12 months aged and is available in limited quantities. It also features complex and bold notes that will elevate your savory and sweet cocktails. In addition, the Canadian whiskey has a unique taste that gives a perfect balance between notes of maple, vanilla, oak, caramel, hazelnut and a smooth finish.

This Canadian whiskey is a perfect option for every classic cocktails lover, and it will make the perfect Manhattan. Additionally, this product is free of preservatives and additives, making it a completely safe product to use.


  • Refreshing
  • It is most bars' go-to whiskey
  • Easy to store
  • Doesn't contain artificial sugars


  • Some complain it has poor packaging

4. Michter's, Straight Rye, 750 ml  

Michter's Small Batch Bourbon, 91.40 Proof, 0.75 L
  • Rich caramel with balanced vanilla, stone fruit notes, smoky depth
  • Oaky finish

Michter Maker's Mark Bourbon is another perfect American rye whiskey that will give you great Manhattan. These Straight Rye whiskeys is a truly extraordinary whiskey that will give you a spice with peppery notes, oak, citrus, and butterscotch flavor.

The Single Barrel Straight Rye whiskey is ideal for serving neat, on rocks and as a classic cocktail. It is one of the favourite for most manhattan lovers due to its perfect taste and flavors. This Single Barrel Straight Rye whiskey is perfect when it makes cocktails using sweet vermouth like Carpano Antica and a bitter such as the Angostura. However, if you want bourbon barrels, it would be best to use a high rye bourbon-like four roses or Woodford reserve.


  • Has notes of caramel, cinder toffee and black pepper
  • Refreshing
  • Doesn't contain artificial sugars
  • It is most bars' go-to whiskey
  • Easy to store


  • Pricey

5. Bulleit Rye Whiskey 750ml 

Bulleit Rye Whiskey is the last whiskey that we will look at. It is a very good rye that will make you an awesome manhattan cocktail. It is extremely smooth with vanilla, honey, cherries and spice. It is also made using 95 % rye and 5% malted barley, making it a perfect option for making Manhatten.

The Bulleit Rye Whiskey is MGP 95/5 mash bill, a combination of grains used to create distiller recipes. This particular whiskey has a peppery spices taste followed by a pleasant fruity after taste. The only downside is that these best whiskeys are a bit expensive, but trust me, it is worth the money you spent it on.


  • Perfect to be drunk straight
  • It can also be used as a mixer.
  • Makes more than one flavor profile with one mash bill
  • It is bars' go-to whiskey or bourbon
  • Has a  stone fruit and cinnamon taste


  • Bulleit Rye is expensive

How to Make a Manhattan cocktail

The Manhattan cocktail is pretty easy to make with the right tools. You will only need to stir, then strain into a chilled glass and then garnished traditionally using maraschino cherry. The cocktail may be served in lowball glass on the rocks. The mahatma cocktail made with whiskey or bourbon is named for New York City Borough.

To enjoy the cocktail, you will need to match the right vermouth to balance its bitterness, sweetness and acidity. Additionally, you will need the best whiskey for Manhattan to get the best cocktail. To make the modern cocktail, you will need a whiskey and vermouth at the ratio of 2:1, respectively. However, you will find that the original recipes use the whiskey to vermouth at the ratio of 1:2. So you could try both and find the one that you love more.

The main ingredients needed are glass for serving the cocktail; garnish such as cherry, orange peel or lemon. Making either the dry Manhattan, the perfect Manhattan, or the sweet Manhattan is basically the same but with a few different ingredients. For the method, you will only need to pour the whiskey, vermouth and bitters that predate the Martini you have into a shaker or mixing glass that has ice and stir properly to the mix. Then you will strain your cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.

We will have a look at the different ingredients you can use to make the three different manhattans:

1. Sweet Manhattan

For a glass of sweet cocktail, you will need:

  • 60ml rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey
  • 30ml sweet vermouth
  • Two, 1/8 tsp of bitters, either aromatic, orange, or Angostura bitters
  • For garnishing, you could use a Maraschino cherry

2. Dry Manhattan

For a glass of dry cocktail, you will need:

  • 60ml rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey
  • 30ml dry vermouth
  • Two, 1/8 tsp of bitters like orange, aromatic or Angostura
  • For garnishing a piece of orange or lemon peel

3. Perfect Manhattan

For a glass of perfect manhattan cocktail, you will need:

  • 60ml rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey
  • 15ml of whiskey sweet vermouth
  • 15ml of dry vermouth
  • Two, 1/8 tsp of bitters like orange, aromatic or Angostura
  • For garnishing, you could use a piece of lemon, orange peel or maraschino cherry

Essential Components For a Manhattan

1. Ice

The other essential element you will need rather than rye whiskies is fresh ice. The fresh ice will ensure that your drink is not too strong enough as one serve. It will dilute your rink lowly as you drink up.

2. Sweet Vermouth

Bourbon or whiskey lovers know how important having the sweet vermouth is. The vermouth is known to bring sweetness, acidity, tannic and botanic depth to your drink. Remember to make a great whiskey, and you should pay great attention to the whiskey to vermouth ratio.

3. Bitters

Most cocktails such as Manhattan and old-fashioned cocktails require you to use bitters and rye spice to add flavor. The bitters will add flavor and align and improve the flavors.

4. Garnish

Garnishing is another important part that you need to do when making cocktails. You could use maraschino cherry, for instance, to make your cocktail.

Tips for Making a Perfect Manhattan Cocktail

1. Have the proper tools

You will need more than just the right whiskey or bourbon to make a great manhattan cocktail. There are additional tools that will help you create the cocktail. You will need :

  1. Mixing glass for combining all the ingredients
  2. Jigger to measure the liquor
  3. Bar spoon to stir the cocktail
  4. Drink strainer to strain the ingerdients
  5. chilled glasses for the cocktail

2. Invest in Incredible ingredients

If you want to make quality manhattan will mainly depend on the quality of ingredients you have. If you want to purchase rye whiskies, you need to want to get the best rye whiskey you can afford. This way, you are guaranteed to have the best quality manhattan cocktail.

3. Don't limit yourself to one whiskey choice

Rye whiskies are whiskies that were traditionally used to make manhattan cocktails. Nevertheless, there are a variety of other whiskies that you could use, and each comes with distinct characteristics. For example, you could use rye whiskeys, bourbon, blended whiskey, Tennessee whiskey and Canadian whiskey.

4. Purchase the right incorrect vermouth

Choosing the right vermouth for classic Manhattan is a must. The sweet whiskey vermouth is sweet and has a deeper color than the dry vermouth. To make the best Manhattan, you will need an equal separation of sweet and dry vermouth. Remember, the ratio of bourbon or whiskey to vermouth should be 2:1.

5. Choose Angostura bitters

Adding bitters to your manhattan cocktails means that your drink will have a deeper flavor. Most people think that the vermouth and bitters will have a strong bitter taste to your cocktail, but that is wrong. While making a classic manhattan, you should use Angostura, orange bitters or gum syrup.

6. Do not use a processed maraschino cherry

Garnishing you Manhattan is a personal choice, but we suggest you garnish it o have a perfect manhattan. You could use a cocktail cherry to garnish your cocktails. Still, we suggest that you stay away from processed maraschino cherries since they contain chemicals like food coloring or simple syrup that can tamper with the quality of the cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Whiskey For Manhattan

1. Is a Manhattan made with sweet and dry vermouth?

Yes, you can use sweet or dry vermouth to make your cocktail. However, if you want to combine the sweet and dry, you will need to garnish it with either an orange or lemon peel. It is necessary to note that if you use dry vermouth, it's important to garnish it using a lemon.

2. Is Rittenhouse Rye good neat?

Of course, Rittenhouse is considered as n of the best whiskey for Manhattan that will get the job done. This rye whiskey is well balance of licorice, honey, dill, oak, spice, anise, fruit and bread.

3. What does the term bottled-in-bond mean?

The bottled-in-bond is an American label that is well-known for making distilled beverages that are aged and bottled according to the set regulations in the US government's measures of the identity of distilled spirits.

                                                                            Image credit: consumatorium.com

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