Back Bar | Classic Manhattan

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The exact origin of the Manhattan, as with many cocktails, is uncertain. Altier’s version is adapted from the legendary Harry Johnson’s Bartender's Manual, first published in 1900. The book is beloved by bartenders for its focus on the craft and service of bartending, in addition to its basic recipes. Johnson's Manhattan is brightened by the addition of orange liqueur; it works just as well with orange bitters.

Classic Manhattan

Adapted from Marshall Altier, Jbird, New York City

Yield: 1 cocktail

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • Ice
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounces Italian vermouth
  • 2 dashes Curaçao
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel


 Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rye, vermouth, Curaçao and bitters. Stir, then strain the rye mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and finish by twisting an orange peel over the drink to express the oils. Discard the peel and serve.

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