The #ManhattanProject: 13 Ways to Drink a Manhattan


#manhattanproject manhattan recipes

We put the question out there on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter more than a few times: How do you make your Manhattan? We call it, the #ManhattanProject.

From mid-November through this week, we had more than a dozen contributions. And we weren’t surprised at all to find that the Manhattan is a drink — and a city — to fit countless tastes. Here are a few great ones.

Thank you for all the submissions. Please read the full story at

13 Ways to Drink a Manhattan

  1. Small Bites Manhattan: Using my Instagram account, @smallbiteslohud, I got the #ManhattanProject going with this recipe. Stir 2 ounces Jim Beam rye, 1 ounce Carpano Antica and 3 dashes Angostura bitters with ice. Serve up in a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
  2. Greenpoint: Digital editor Ed Forbes shared this recipe from “The PDT Cocktail Book” on his Instagram @edforbes02. Stir 2 ounces rye whiskey, 1/2 ounce Yellow Chartreuse, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, 1 dash Angostura bitters and 1 dash orange bitters with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.
  3. #manhattanproject manhattan recipes Manhattan Transfer: Another of Ed Forbes’ contributions. This version was adapted from the food52 website. Stir together 2 ounces rye, 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica, 1/2 ounce Bénédictine and 2 dashes Regans’ orange bitters with ice. Rinse a coupe glass with absinthe and strain the drink into the glass.
  4. Docsconz Manhattan: John Sconzo, who writes the food and lives in upstate New York, shared his recipe on his Instagram feed, @docsconz. Stir 2 ounces Knob Creek 9, 1 ounce Carpano Antico, 1 ounce Assam tea, 2 dashes Angostura bitters with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with 1 maraschino cherry with a spoon of juice and 2 spritzes Bergamot Chef Essence spray.
  5. Toronto Cocktail: Marketing editor Jill Mercadante who goes by @tumblingafter on Instagram, found this variety at Van Horn Sandwich Shop in Brooklyn. The Toronto usually calls for only 1/4 ounce of Fernet Branca, an amaro made from herbs and spices, but the bartender at Van Horn says she likes the drink to be more forward. Stir 2 ounces Old Overholt rye, 3/4 ounce Fernet Branca and 1/4 ounce simple syrup with ice and strain into a coupe glass. No garnish.
  6. Zachys Manhattan: William Schragis, a spirits marketing associate at Zachys in Scarsdale, shared his recipe on the Zachys’ Instagram, @zachyswine. He based the recipe on a Perfect Manhattan — which uses equal parts of dry and sweet vermouth — but went with a splash more rye because Carpano Bianco, the white vermouth by the producer Carpano, is a bit sweet. “The Manhattan is about having very high quality, very carefully chosen ingredients and interfering as little as possible with them.” Stir 2 1/2 ounces Templeton rye, 1/2 ounce Carpano Bianco, 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica and 2 drops Bittermans Burlesque Bitters with ice. Serve up in a coupe glass with a shoelace lemon twist.
  7. Benjamin Manhattan: Benjamin Steakhouse in Hartsdale went so far as to embed our hashtag #ManhattanProject right in the photo it shared on its Instagram, @benjaminsteak. Shake 2 1/2 ounces Makers Mark bourbon, 1/4 ounce Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
  8. Dwight Worley Manhattan: Our reporter and data analyst on the digital team didn’t waste any time. He shared his recipe on Instagram using @dwightworley on the very first night of our #ManhattanProject. “I have heard shaking bruises the bourbon, whatever that means,” he says. “Why tempt fate?” Stir 3 ounces Makers Mark bourbon, 1 ounce Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, 1 teaspoon cherry juice and 1 or 2 dashes of chocolate bitters (Bittermen’s or Aztec) with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
  9. Cody Goldstein Manhattan: Cody Goldstein, a longtime Small Bites fan, works at Red Farm, the hip Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side. Here is his recipe, shared on his @codygoldstein Instagram. (You’ve got to think ahead on this one, and age your vermouth in an oak barrel.) Stir 2 ounces George Dickle rye with 1 ounce Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth that has been aged in an oak barrel for 2 to 4 weeks and a few dashes Angostura bitters with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a brandied cherry.
  10. Restaurant North Manhattan: You can always count on farm-to-table North in Armonk to pay careful attention to ingredients. “We think of the bar in the same fashion as a chef would think about his kitchen,” says co-owner Stephen Mancini. “We take the seasonal approach to all that we do and this transcends classic cocktails but done with a North twist.” This fall, North got 4 flats of Concord grapes from Blooming Hill Farm and treated them as you would a brandied cherry. “We took a few bottles of Black Dirt 100 proof Apple Jack Brandy and all of those grapes and canned them, allowing them to become an amazing bar garnish,” says Mancini. He shared the recipe using the @restaurantnorth Instagram. Stir 3 1/2 ounces Black Dirt bourbon, 3/4 ounce Carpano Antico, 3 dashes of Decanter bitters and 1/2 ounce brandied Concord grape juice with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied Concord grape.
  11. Alvin & Friends Manhattan: Our most recent contribution to the #ManhattanProject came just last week from the folks at Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle. Alvin & Friends bartender Sean Murray says he prefers to stir instead of shake because it avoids bruising the whiskey. Here is the recipe, shared on Instagram @alvinandfriends. Stir together 2 parts Chivas Regal, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 dash of bitters and 1 drop of cherry juice. Rim the edge of a cocktail glass with lemon twist, then garnish with the twist and a Maraschino cherry.
  12. Schmidt’s Manhattan: Ed Forbes loves to order this Manhattan at Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco. Bar manager Justin Poltrack says it was inspired by William Schmidt, whose 1891 book, “The Flowing Bowl,” and attention from the New York Sun made him one of the most famous bartenders in America at the time. Stir 4 ounces Makers Mark bourbon with 2 ounces Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters with ice. Rim a coupe or cocktail glass with absinthe, then strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.
  13. Perfect Parallel: I love this take on the Perfect Manhattan created by Audrey Saunders, who is the owner of the Pegu Club in Manhattan and known as the Libation Goddess. Stir 4 ounces Lairds Applejack brandy, 1/2 ounce Noilly Pratt, 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica and 2 shakes Angostura with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Luxardo Cherry.

About Author

Megan McCaffrey is a food writer for The Journal News and contributor to the Small Bites Blog. She has a degree in Digital Media from Fordham University and a fondness for good craft beer. She loves to bake, read cooking blogs and taste all the Lower Hudson Valley has to offer. Megan lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her husband and three kids.

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