Gingerbread Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

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Gingerbread Manhattan Nutrition Facts





Alcohol content:30%

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 Gingerbread Manhattan is a delightful twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail. This festive variant incorporates the warm, spicy flavors of gingerbread, making it a favorite during the holiday season or for anyone who enjoys a touch of sweetness with their whiskey.

  • Origins:
    • The Manhattan is a timeless cocktail, traditionally made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
    • The Gingerbread Manhattan adds a seasonal spin with gingerbread syrup, introducing a nostalgic and festive flavor profile.
  • Popularity:
    • This cocktail has gained popularity among those who appreciate a classic Manhattan but are looking for something with a unique, seasonal twist.
  • Ideal For:
    • Perfect for cold evenings, holiday gatherings, or as a dessert cocktail for those who enjoy the flavors of gingerbread paired with the robustness of whiskey.

How Gingerbread Manhattan Tastes?

The Gingerbread Manhattan offers a harmonious blend of sweet and spicy, with the gingerbread syrup providing a comforting warmth. The whiskey's inherent richness is complemented by the herbal notes of the sweet vermouth, while the bitters bring a depth that balances the sweetness, resulting in a complex, full-bodied cocktail.

Interesting facts about Gingerbread Manhattan

  • The Manhattan cocktail is believed to have been invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s.
  • Gingerbread as a flavor is often associated with the festive season, particularly Christmas, due to its warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • The Gingerbread Manhattan can be garnished with a maraschino cherry or a small gingerbread cookie, adding an extra touch of holiday cheer.


A few good options for Gingerbread Manhattan are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey adds a spicy, grainy kick, which is the backbone of our Gingerbread Manhattan. Think of it as the foundation of a gingerbread house—without it, it's just not as sturdy or spicy. Go less, and your cocktail might be too sweet; go more, and you might overpower the other flavors.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth brings herbal and slightly sweet notes, like a mother's hug in this Christmasy concoction. If omitted, you'd miss out on the complexity and the smooth partnership it forms with the rye.

Emma Rose

Gingerbread Syrup

This syrup is the 'gingerbread' of the cocktail—it ties in that signature holiday flavor. Less syrup, less cheer; no syrup, and it's just not a Gingerbread Manhattan. You could substitute with a cinnamon syrup for a less ginger-forward variant.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

A Christmas tree without ornaments—boring, right? That's your Manhattan without the Angostura bitters. It adds depth and spice, and skipping it would leave your cocktail rather flat. A few extra dashes won't hurt if you like it spicier.

Alex Green

Maraschino Cherry

The cherry on top —literally. It's not just for looks; it adds a touch of sweetness and fruitiness. Without it, the cocktail is still good, but you miss that final, satisfying note.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Gingerbread Manhattan Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of rye whiskey over the ice.
  3. Add 1 oz of sweet vermouth.
  4. Measure and add 0.5 oz of gingerbread syrup.
  5. Drop in 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  6. Stir the ingredients together until well-chilled.
  7. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  8. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or a small gingerbread cookie on the rim.

Pro Tips

  • For a truly festive experience, rim the glass with a mix of crushed gingerbread cookies and sugar before pouring the cocktail.
  • Chill the cocktail glass in the freezer for at least an hour before serving to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • When stirring the cocktail, do so for about 30 seconds to ensure proper dilution and chilling.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Platter

Aged cheeses like Gouda or Cheddar complement the spicy notes of the rye and the sweetness from the vermouth and gingerbread syrup.


Pair with light, airy desserts such as vanilla bean panna cotta or an apple tart. Avoid overly sweet desserts that might compete with the cocktail’s flavor.

Savory Snacks

Consider classic bar snacks like mixed nuts or prosciutto-wrapped melon that echo the cocktail's complex flavors without overpowering them.

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What you could change in Gingerbread Manhattan

  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon can be used as a sweeter alternative.
  • Sweet Vermouth: A different brand of vermouth or even a dry vermouth for a less sweet cocktail.
  • Gingerbread Syrup: Homemade gingerbread syrup can be substituted with a mix of simple syrup, ground ginger, and a pinch of cinnamon.

Explore all drinks starting with G here

And of course - twists🍹

Maple Gingerbread Manhattan

Swap out gingerbread syrup for maple syrup to bring a woodsy, autumnal twist to the drink. It will be less ginger-spicy and more sweet-nutty.

Chocolate Gingerbread Manhattan

Stir in a spoonful of cocoa with the sweet vermouth to add a chocolatey depth. The drink will have a dessert-like quality, with a rich velvety finish.

Spiced Orange Gingerbread Manhattan

Add a dash of orange bitters with the Angostura and garnish with an orange twist. This invites a citrus note that brightens up the spices and adds a zesty fragrance.

In case you forgot basics how to make Gingerbread 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 Gingerbread Manhattan

Can I make the Gingerbread Manhattan non-alcoholic?

Yes, you can replace the rye whiskey with a non-alcoholic spirit alternative, and use a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth substitute to mimic the cocktail's flavor profile.

What type of glass is best for serving the Gingerbread Manhattan?

A chilled coupe or martini glass is traditionally used for Manhattans and would be suitable for the Gingerbread Manhattan.

How can I make my own gingerbread syrup?

Combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan, add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then strain and cool.

Is the Gingerbread Manhattan considered a strong drink?

Yes, with a high percentage of rye whiskey, it is considered a strong drink. Drink responsibly.

How do I properly store gingerbread syrup?

Store homemade gingerbread syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Can this cocktail be batched for parties?

Absolutely! Combine the ingredients in a large quantity, keeping the same ratios, and serve in a pitcher or punch bowl with ice on the side.

What is the best type of ice for making the Gingerbread Manhattan?

Clear, large ice cubes are ideal as they melt slower and minimize dilution, preserving the flavor.

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