Aperol Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

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Aperol Manhattan Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Aperol Manhattan is a twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, which dates back to the late 1800s. Traditionally made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, the Aperol Manhattan introduces the Italian aperitif Aperol to give the drink a slightly bitter, citrusy edge.

  • Origin: The original Manhattan cocktail is said to have been invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City.
  • Popularity: This variation has gained popularity among those who appreciate the classic cocktail but are looking for a more refreshing, less potent option.
  • Audience: It's a hit with fans of bitter and herbal flavors, as well as those who enjoy the complexity of a traditional Manhattan.

How Aperol Manhattan Tastes?

The Aperol Manhattan is a harmonious blend of sweet and bitter, with the Aperol providing a unique orange and rhubarb flavor that complements the robustness of the whiskey. The sweet vermouth balances the bitterness, while the bitters add depth. Overall, it's a complex, medium-strong cocktail with a smooth finish.

Interesting facts about Aperol Manhattan

  • Aperol was introduced in 1919 at the Padua International Fair by the Barbieri brothers.
  • The Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City, which is often credited with the creation of its namesake cocktail.
  • Aperol contains only 11% alcohol by volume, making the Aperol Manhattan a slightly less potent version of the classic.


Rye Whiskey

Why 2oz? It's the backbone of our drink, providing a robust and spicy canvas. Less would make the Aperol take over; more, and we might as well call it a nightcap. Without it, you're just waving at Manhattan from across the harbor.

Mary Mitkina


Bringing its signature Italian sass, 1oz gives us that kiss of bitter sweetness without hijacking the whole palate party. This pretty orange player keeps the cocktail playful – nix it, and you're missing the point, my friend.

Emma Rose

Sweet Vermouth

Why just a half-ounce? Think of it as the cocktail's silk tie – not too loud, perfectly knotted. Without its herbal whispers, we'd lose a layer of sophistication. Remember, Manhattan never underdresses.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Two dashes are the spice rack of this urban jungle mix. They're like the city's heartbeat – remove them, and the drink flatlines. They give depth and complexity that's irreplaceable.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

One garnish to rule them all. The oils softly whisper, 'I'm classy' to each sip. No peel means no final zesty note – it's like leaving your house without your keys.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Aperol Manhattan Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in 2 oz of rye whiskey.
  3. Add 1 oz of Aperol.
  4. Measure and pour 0.5 oz of sweet vermouth.
  5. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  6. Stir the ingredients well until properly chilled.
  7. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  8. Garnish with an orange peel, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it in the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when stirring to ensure the drink is properly chilled without too much dilution.
  • When expressing the orange peel, make sure to do it over the glass to capture the essential oils that add to the aroma of the cocktail.
  • Chill the cocktail glass before serving to keep the drink colder for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese & Charcuterie

  • Cheese: A mix of hard and soft cheeses like Gouda, Camembert or Aged Cheddar balances the cocktail's rich and slightly bitter notes.
  • Charcuterie: Prosciutto and salami provide a savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the vermouth and Aperol.

Small Plates & Appetizers

  • Olives: With their brininess, olives can highlight the herbaceous undertones in the Manhattan.
  • Bruschetta: A classic tomato bruschetta complements the refreshing citrus flavors from the orange peel.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: A well-seasoned steak can stand up to the boldness of the rye and the bitter-sweet profile of the cocktail.
  • Roasted Duck: The richness of duck pairs wonderfully with the depth of flavor in a Manhattan.

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What you could change in Aperol Manhattan

  • Rye Whiskey: Can be substituted with Bourbon for a sweeter profile.
  • Aperol: Campari can be used for a more bitter and intense flavor.
  • Sweet Vermouth: A dry vermouth can be used for a less sweet version, though it will significantly alter the taste.

Explore all drinks starting with A here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Aperol Manhattan

Replace rye with mezcal for a smoky punch. Stir 2oz of mezcal, 1oz of Aperol, 0.5oz of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes bitters. Garnish with a flamed orange peel. Prepare for smoky sophistication that could dance in a dimly lit speakeasy.

Boulevardier Aperol Twist

Substitute rye with 1.5oz bourbon for a Southern twang. Stick with 1oz Aperol, but bump vermouth to 1oz. Stir and garnish with a cherry. It's like your Manhattan took a trip down the Mississippi.

Spiced Aperol Manhattan

Add a cinnamon stick during the stirring process. Swap Angostura for 2 dashes of orange bitters, and stir with 2oz rye, 1oz Aperol, and 0.5oz vermouth. The result? A winter holiday in a glass, with enough spice to warm even the coldest of hearts.

In case you forgot basics how to make Aperol Manhattan

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Aperol Manhattan

What type of glass is recommended for serving an Aperol Manhattan?

An Aperol Manhattan is typically served in a chilled cocktail glass, sometimes referred to as a martini glass, to showcase its clarity and color.

How can I achieve a perfectly clear ice for my cocktail?

To achieve clear ice, boil distilled water and let it cool, then freeze it in a cooler or an insulated ice mold to promote directional freezing.

What are the effects of stir time on the Aperol Manhattan?

The stir time affects both the temperature and dilution of the cocktail. A longer stir time will produce a colder and slightly more diluted drink, which can enhance smoothness.

Can I make an Aperol Manhattan in advance for a party?

Yes, you can batch prepare and refrigerate the mixture without ice, then stir over ice and serve as needed to maintain freshness and prevent dilution.

Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for the rye whiskey in an Aperol Manhattan?

For a non-alcoholic version, you can use a non-alcoholic spirit with a similar flavor profile to rye whiskey, though this will significantly alter the taste.

Can the Angostura Bitters be omitted if I don't have them?

While Angostura Bitters are a key ingredient, they can be substituted with other aromatic bitters, though the flavor profile will vary.

Is it possible to make an Aperol Manhattan with a different type of citrus garnish?

Yes, while orange peel is traditional, you can experiment with other citrus peels like lemon or grapefruit for a different aroma and flavor accent.

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