Manhattan Iced Tea Cocktail Recipe

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Manhattan Iced Tea 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 Iced Tea is a twist on the classic Long Island Iced Tea, which is known for its potent combination of spirits. This version pays homage to the Manhattan cocktail, incorporating whiskey for a deeper flavor profile. It's a hit at my bar, especially among patrons who appreciate a strong, complex drink with a hint of sophistication.

  • Origin: Inspired by the Long Island Iced Tea
  • Popularity: Favored by whiskey enthusiasts
  • Best Enjoyed: As an evening drink or at social gatherings

How Manhattan Iced Tea Tastes?

The Manhattan Iced Tea offers a robust, rich flavor with a balance of sweetness and bitterness. The whiskey's warmth is perfectly complemented by the herbal notes of the vermouth, while the bitters add depth. It's a full-bodied cocktail with a lingering finish.

Interesting facts about Manhattan Iced Tea

  • The Manhattan Iced Tea is not a traditional iced tea and contains no actual tea.
  • It's a versatile cocktail that can be customized with different types of whiskey.
  • Despite its name, it's not recommended to drink it as quickly as iced tea due to its high alcohol content.


  • Rye whiskey: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Sweet vermouth: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Triple sec: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Fresh lemon juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Simple syrup: 0.25 oz(8ml)
  • Angostura bitters: 2 dashes
  • Cherry: 1 for garnish
  • Lemon twist: 1 for garnish

Rye Whiskey

The rye whiskey (2oz) is the backbone of our Manhattan Iced Tea, providing a spicy and fruity base. If you skimp on it, you'll miss out on that punch of flavor—like a drummer arriving late to the gig. Too much, and your taste buds will be overwhelmed, akin to a guitar solo that never ends.

If rye isn't your jam, bourbon is a smoother alternative that could play a similar tune, but with a sweeter, less spicy rhythm.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

Adding sweet vermouth (1oz) is like drizzling caramel sauce on your dessert; it adds a sweet, herby touch. If you forgot this, you'd lose the harmony, like a band without a bassist. Less vermouth can make your drink sharper, more can lead to an overly sweet cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Triple Sec

Triple sec (0.5oz) is the zesty band member, providing a citrusy pop in every sip. Leave it out, and your cocktail loses some of its vibrant melody. Too much triple sec? Your taste symphony gets drowned out by the citrus section.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice (0.5oz) brings the tartness and brightness, like the high notes of a trumpet. Missing out on it is the equivalent of a concert with no lighting—dull and flat. Just the right amount, and it lifts the whole performance.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup (0.25oz) is the secret whisper in the mix, sweetening things subtly without stealing the show. Forget it, and the balance of flavors is like an off-key violin—noticeable but not a deal-breaker. A splash more could make it too sweet, taking the edge off the bitters.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

A couple of dashes of Angostura bitters (2 dashes) is like the spice on your entrée—it's crucial. Like a drummer subtly dictating the tempo, it's felt more than it's heard, giving your drink depth and complexity. Leave it out, and the drink feels like it's missing a beat.

Emma Rose

Cherry and Lemon Twist

Finally, the garnishes. The cherry and lemon twist add visual appeal and a hint of fruitiness, akin to the costumes of a band, not strictly necessary but definitely heightening the experience. It's the flourish at the end of the show that leaves you wanting more.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Manhattan Iced Tea Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and a twist of lemon.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality rye whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • When garnishing, ensure the lemon twist expresses its oils over the drink for an aromatic finish.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The varied flavors of cured meats and cheese complement the boldness of the cocktail.
  • Smoked Salmon Canapés: The smokiness of the salmon pairs well with the whiskey base.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: A Manhattan Iced Tea stands up to the rich flavors of red meat.
  • Roasted Pork: The sweet and herbal notes in the drink can enhance the pork's natural flavors.


  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate can balance the drink's complexity.
  • Cheesecake: The creamy texture contrasts nicely with the cocktail's sharpness.

Other Drinks

  • Coffee: After the cocktail, a cup of strong coffee can be a great follow-up.
  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips.

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What you could change in Manhattan Iced Tea

  • Rye Whiskey can be substituted with Bourbon for a sweeter taste.
  • Cointreau can be used in place of Triple Sec for a more refined citrus flavor.
  • Maple syrup can replace simple syrup for a more autumnal profile.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoked Manhattan Iced Tea

  • Replace rye with smoked whiskey
  • Add a small sprig of rosemary
  • Recipe stays mostly the same
  • The flavor will have a smokier, woodsy note, like having a campfire sing-along with your favorite band.
  • Ideal for those who want an extra oaky punch in their drink, reminiscent of an autumn evening jam session.

Spicy Manhattan Iced Tea

  • Add a thin slice of jalapeño to the shaker
  • Recipe follows original steps
  • A spicy kick will be introduced, turning the tune of your cocktail from acoustic to electric.
  • For the adventurous souls who like to add a little heat to the stage.

Herbal Manhattan Iced Tea

  • Substitute simple syrup with honey syrup
  • Add a sprig of thyme to the shaker
  • The herbal notes will be more pronounced, like shifting the spotlight to the rhythm guitarist. *Those who prefer a folksier, earthier vibe to their libation will find this twist intriguing.

In case you forgot basics how to make Manhattan Iced Tea

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

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

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 Manhattan Iced Tea

What glassware is recommended for serving a Manhattan Iced Tea?

A Manhattan Iced Tea is typically served in a rocks glass, also known as an old-fashioned glass, to accommodate the ice and garnishes comfortably.

Can I use a different type of bitters in my Manhattan Iced Tea?

Yes, while Angostura bitters are the traditional choice, experimenting with different bitters such as orange bitters or Peychaud's can give your cocktail a unique twist.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

To create a mocktail version, substitute the alcoholic components with non-alcoholic spirits or use flavored syrups combined with herbal or floral extracts to mimic the complexity of the original ingredients.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making a Manhattan Iced Tea?

Avoid over-diluting the drink with too much ice, shaking the ingredients too forcefully which can cause excessive aeration, or using low-quality ingredients that can compromise the flavor.

Is it possible to batch prepare Manhattan Iced Teas for a party?

Yes, you can pre-mix the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, triple sec, and simple syrup in a batch, but it's best to add the lemon juice and bitters fresh for each serving to maintain the punch of flavor and aroma.

Can I age a Manhattan Iced Tea cocktail?

Aging cocktails is a trend for enhancing depth of flavor. You could combine the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and triple sec in a barrel or bottle to age, but you should still add fresh lemon juice and simple syrup just before serving.

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