Metropolitan Cocktail Recipe

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Metropolitan 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 Metropolitan cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It is believed to have originated in New York City and was a popular choice among the city's elite during the Prohibition era. The cocktail is a variation of the classic Manhattan, with the key difference being the use of brandy instead of whiskey.

  • The Metropolitan was often enjoyed at speakeasies and high-end establishments during Prohibition
  • It has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years as classic cocktails have made a comeback

How Metropolitan Tastes?

The Metropolitan cocktail offers a rich, smooth, and slightly sweet flavor profile. The brandy provides warmth and depth, while the sweet vermouth adds a touch of sweetness and herbal complexity. The bitters help to balance the sweetness and add a subtle spiciness to the drink.

Interesting facts about Metropolitan

  • The Metropolitan is sometimes referred to as the 'Brandy Manhattan'
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, often with a cherry garnish
  • The name 'Metropolitan' is likely a nod to the cosmopolitan nature of New York City, where the drink is said to have originated



  • Brandy: The 2 oz of brandy provide a rich, fruity base that anchors the cocktail. With less brandy the drink might be too weak; with more, it could overpower the other ingredients. If swapped for whiskey, you'd get a stronger, spicier drink, altering the cocktail significantly.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

  • Sweet Vermouth: At 1 oz, sweet vermouth balances the brandy's strength with herbal complexity. Not enough would leave the cocktail too brandy-forward, too much could make it cloyingly sweet. A dry vermouth substitute would create a sharper, less sweet Metropolitan.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

  • Angostura Bitters: These 2 dashes add a layer of spice and depth. Without them, the cocktail lacks dimension. Overdoing it can introduce an unwanted medicinal taste. Orange bitters could be a substitute, adding a citrusy twist to the drink.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

  • Maraschino Cherry: The garnish adds a touch of class and a hint of sweetness when nibbled between sips. Without it, the presentation and subtle flavor notes would be missing. A lemon twist could serve as a garnish alternative, offering a bright, zesty finish.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Metropolitan Drink

  1. Chill a cocktail glass by filling it with ice and water, then set aside
  2. In a mixing glass, combine the brandy, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters
  3. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir the ingredients until well chilled
  4. Empty the cocktail glass and strain the mixture into the glass
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality brandy for a smoother, richer flavor
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting the drink too much
  • Chill the glass thoroughly before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie boards: The complex flavors of the Metropolitan pair nicely with a selection of cured meats, cheeses, and olives.
  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of rich, dark chocolate can complement the deep, fruity notes of the brandy and vermouth.

Main Courses

  • Roasted or Grilled Meats: The bold flavors of the Metropolitan stand up well to hearty meat dishes like steak or lamb.
  • Rich Pasta Dishes: Consider pairing with pasta that has a robust sauce, such as a ragù.


  • Fruit Tarts: A fruit tart, especially one with cherries or dark berries, would be a delightful match for this cocktail.

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What you could change in Metropolitan

  • Whiskey can be used instead of brandy for a different flavor profile
  • Orange bitters can replace Angostura bitters for a citrusy twist
  • A lemon twist can be used as a garnish instead of a cherry for a fresh, zesty finish

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Metropolitan

  • Ingredients: 2 oz Smoked Brandy, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, Orange Peel.
  • Recipe: Follow the Metropolitan recipe, but garnish with an orange peel instead of a cherry. This variant introduces a smoky flavor that adds a new dimension.

Herbal Met

  • Ingredients: 2 oz Brandy, 1 oz Herbal Vermouth (such as Punt e Mes), 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, Maraschino Cherry.
  • Recipe: Use a more herbaceous vermouth to introduce additional botanical notes that complement the existing complexity of the cocktail.

Spicy Met

  • Ingredients: 2 oz Brandy, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, 2 dashes of spicy bitters, Maraschino Cherry.
  • Recipe: Swap traditional bitters with a spicier variety to dial up the heat, adding an invigorating kick to each sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Metropolitan

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 Metropolitan

Where does the name 'Manhattan' in 'Brandy Manhattan' come from?

The name 'Manhattan' comes from Manhattan, New York. It originated there in the mid-19th century at the Manhattan Club.

Which type of brandy is best suited for a Metropolitan cocktail?

Cognac, being a variety of brandy, often works best. However, the choice ultimately depends on individual taste.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Metropolitan cocktail?

You can make a non-alcoholic version by using non-alcoholic alternatives for brandy and vermouth. However, the taste may differ.

What can I pair with the Metropolitan cocktail?

Metropolitan pairs well with rich, hearty dishes like steak or roast duck.

What's the glassware used in a Metropolitan cocktail?

The Metropolitan cocktail is traditionally served in a cocktail glass. A martini glass can also be used.

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