Makers Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Makers Manhattan Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:28

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 Manhattan cocktail is a classic and a favorite of many. It was first created in the mid-1870s, during a party held by Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston Churchill's mother) in Manhattan. The drink was an instant success and has been a staple in bars across the world ever since. This particular version, the Makers Manhattan, uses Maker's Mark bourbon, which gives it a unique and rich flavor. It's a favorite among bourbon lovers and those who appreciate a well-balanced cocktail.

How Makers Manhattan Tastes?

The Makers Manhattan is a robust and full-bodied cocktail. It's sweet, but not overly so, with a strong bourbon flavor that's balanced by the bitterness of the vermouth. The cherry and orange garnish add a hint of fruitiness, while the bitters give it a complex, layered taste.

Interesting facts about Makers Manhattan

  • The Manhattan is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's classic 'The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks'.
  • The Makers Manhattan specifically uses Maker's Mark bourbon, which is known for its smooth and rich flavor.
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry.


Maker's Mark Bourbon

Bourbon is the heart of the cocktail, providing a sweet, rich base with vanilla and caramel notes. Using 2 oz strikes a balance with the other ingredients without overpowering the drink. Less bourbon might make the drink too mild, while more can make it overly strong.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth adds herbal and sweet flavors, creating complexity and depth. 1 oz is enough to complement the bourbon without making the cocktail too sweet. Without it, you'd lose the special Manhattan character.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Bitters are like the cocktail's spice rack, providing a hint of spice and balance. Two dashes are plenty to enrich the flavor without overwhelming it. Without bitters, the cocktail would be less complex and rather one-dimensional.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

The cherry provides a sweet garnish that complements the other ingredients and offers a pleasing finish to the drink. Skip it, and you miss out on a classic cocktail experience.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

An orange peel garnish contributes a zesty aroma, brightening up the cocktail and providing a subtle citrus note. A Manhattan without the peel would lack this uplifting scent.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Makers Manhattan Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and an orange peel.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients: The better the ingredients, the better the cocktail.
  • Chill your glass: This keeps the cocktail cold for longer.
  • Stir, don't shake: This prevents the cocktail from becoming too diluted.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: Strong flavors from cured meats balance well with the robust bourbon and vermouth.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms: The earthiness complements the herbal notes from the bitters.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: The smokiness of a nicely grilled steak enhances the oaky notes in the bourbon.
  • Roast Pork: Sweet vermouth's sweetness can bring out the savory elements of pork.


  • Aged Cheddar: The sharpness pairs nicely with the sweet and spicy cocktail.
  • Gorgonzola: The strong blue cheese flavor stands up well against the boldness of a Manhattan.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Makers Manhattan

  • Bourbon: While Maker's Mark is preferred, any high-quality bourbon will work.
  • Sweet Vermouth: You can also use dry vermouth for a less sweet version.
  • Maraschino Cherry: If you don't have a maraschino cherry, you can use a regular cherry or even a slice of orange.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Manhattan Twist

  • Substitute regular bourbon with a smoky, peated bourbon.
  • Follow the original recipe.
  • The smoky bourbon will add a deep, rich layer of smokiness to the cocktail, making it an excellent choice for those who love a more intense flavor profile.

Spicy Cherry Manhattan

  • Add a splash of cherry liqueur.
  • Use spicy bitters instead of Angostura.
  • Stir in a slice of fresh chili with the ice.
  • This twist amps up the cherry flavor and adds a spicy kick that adventurous drinkers might enjoy.

Chocolate Orange Manhattan

  • Replace sweet vermouth with a chocolate-flavored liqueur.
  • Add a few drops of orange bitters.
  • Use a piece of dark chocolate for garnish along with the orange peel.
  • Chocolate and orange offer a delectable twist, creating a dessert-like Manhattan for those with a sweet tooth.

In case you forgot basics how to make Makers 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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Makers Manhattan

What is the correct way to twist the orange peel?

Hold the orange peel in one hand and use a knife or peeler to lightly score the skin in a twisting motion. Be careful not to cut too deep into the bitter pith.

What is a good non-alcoholic substitute for Maker's Mark bourbon in the recipe?

You can use non-alcoholic vanilla extract or non-alcoholic beer as a substitute for the Maker's Mark bourbon.

How should the cocktail be stored if not consumed immediately?

It's best to consume the cocktail immediately after preparation. However, if it must be stored, cover the glass with a wrap and store in the refrigerator for a short duration. Be aware this might affect the taste.

What other bitters can be used as a substitute for Angostura?

Peychaud's Bitters or Orange Bitters can be used as an alternative to Angostura.

More similar recipes to Makers Manhattan!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe