Here are the most popular Manhattan variations! Try them all, swapping out the rye whiskey for bourbon, Scotch, brandy and more.
Love a good Manhattan? This boozy classic goes all the way back to the 1870’s, likely invented at a club called The Manhattan Club in New York City. The perfect meld of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters at once became a classic: and it’s stood the test of time! It’s just as sophisticated to sip on a Manhattan today as it was a hundred years ago. Like any classic, it’s spawned lots of variations over the years.
Here are the most popular Manhattan variations! Each spin on the classic has a unique character and vibe. Some have a long history of their own, like the Rob Roy or Brooklyn, others are a simple swap out of the rye whiskey. Scotch, bourbon, brandy, and even Italian amaros bring new life to this classy drink.
And now…the most popular Manhattan variations!
More classic cocktail variations
Want to try other spins on the classics outside of these Manhattan variations? Here are a few other cocktails that have inspired variations over the years:
- Bloody Mary: Try the Classic Bloody Mary, then make all of the Top Bloody Mary Variations
- Negroni: Try the Classic Negroni, then make the Best Negroni Variations
- Moscow Mule: Try the Classic Moscow Mule, then try the Top Moscow Mule Variations
- Martini: Try the Classic Dry Martini, then make all the Best Types of Martinis
- Margarita: Try the Classic Margarita, then make all the Best Margarita Recipes
Try the Black Manhattan cocktail! This recipe swaps in Italian amaro for a drink that’s even more sophisticated—and tasty—than the original. Or, try all the other variations above.
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Italian amaro, like Averna
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- For the garnish: Cocktail cherry or Luxardo cherry
- Combine the whiskey, amaro and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and serve.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: Manhattan variations
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.