Spiced Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

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Spiced Manhattan Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:40

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 Spiced Manhattan is a twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, which originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s. This version adds a hint of spice to the traditional recipe, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a bit of heat in their drinks. It's a sophisticated cocktail, perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

How Spiced Manhattan Tastes?

The Spiced Manhattan is a robust and full-bodied cocktail. It's sweet, yet balanced with a spicy kick from the addition of spiced rum. The vermouth adds a subtle bitterness, while the cherry garnish provides a hint of tartness. It's a complex, layered drink that leaves a warm, lingering finish.

Interesting facts about Spiced Manhattan

  • The Spiced Manhattan is a variation of the classic Manhattan, which is one of the six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's classic 'The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks'.
  • Despite its name, the Spiced Manhattan doesn't actually contain any spices. The 'spice' comes from the use of spiced rum.
  • The Spiced Manhattan is typically served in a cocktail glass, garnished with a cherry.


Spiced Rum

Spiced rum is the twist to our traditional Manhattan, replacing the usual rye or bourbon. With notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg among others, it adds an exotic and warming character. Too much rum, and your cocktail can become overpoweringly sweet; too little and you'll miss the spice that sets it apart. Without it, you're just making a classic Manhattan.

Emma Rose

Sweet Vermouth

This aromatized, fortified wine adds the necessary sweetness and complexity. It balances our spiced rum's assertiveness. Use too much vermouth, and the spice is lost; use too little, and the drink becomes too harsh. No vermouth, no Manhattan. An alternative like dry vermouth would completely shift the drink's profile, making it drier and less sweet.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Bitters are the salt and pepper of cocktails, adding depth and tying all flavors together. Be cautious—bitters are potent; a couple of dashes too many, and your drink might get an unwanted medicinal taste. Leave them out, and the drink loses its rounded character, becoming too sweet. No real alternatives here; bitters are unique!

Mary Mitkina


Our garnish adds a touch of class and a faint fruity sweetness when nibbled along with the drink. Omitting it won't ruin the drink, but it's the cherry on top—quite literally. You could try an orange twist instead for a citrusy zing.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Spiced Manhattan Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the spiced rum, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Stir well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients. The taste of your cocktail will only be as good as the worst ingredient you use.
  • Chill your glass before serving for the best experience.
  • Don't over-stir. You want to chill the drink, not dilute it.

Perfect Pairings


  • Bold Cheeses: The spiciness of the rum can complement the richness of bold cheeses like blue cheese or gouda.


  • Grilled Steak: A Spiced Manhattan pairs well with red meats. The grilling process brings out a smoky flavor that complements the rum and vermouth.


  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate goes well with the spiced and herbaceous notes of the cocktail.


  • Roasted Nuts: The warm, roasted flavors of nuts like almonds or pecans are enhanced by the spiciness of the rum.

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What you could change in Spiced Manhattan

  • Spiced Rum: You can substitute with bourbon or rye whiskey for a more traditional Manhattan.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used for a drier taste.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Spiced Manhattan

  • Add a dash of liquid smoke: Just a dash will add a smoky flavor akin to a roaring fire. It's a Manhattan that's been through a woodsy adventure.

Green Apple Spiced Manhattan

  • Replace cherry garnish with a slice of green apple: The tartness of the green apple will contrast with the sweetness and spices, giving a fresh and crisp finish to the drink.

Maple Spiced Manhattan

  • Substitute half the sweet vermouth with maple syrup: For a truly autumnal twist. The maple syrup's richness will complement the warm spices of the rum, making it a cozy choice for chilly nights.

In case you forgot basics how to make Spiced 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 Spiced Manhattan

Can I use a different kind of bitters in the Spiced Manhattan?

Yes, you can experiment with different kinds of bitters. However, the taste will not be the same as when using Angostura Bitters.

How important is the ice quality when making a cocktail?

Ice quality is important for the taste and dilution of a cocktail. Using fresh, clean ice can prevent unwanted flavors in your cocktail.

Is there a significant difference in taste when using bourbon or rye whisky instead of spiced rum?

Yes, replacing spiced rum with either bourbon or rye whisky will create a different flavor profile. You may lose some of the spiciness but gain other flavours associated with these spirits.

What is the best occasion to enjoy a Spiced Manhattan?

The Spiced Manhattan is a sophisticated cocktail that is well-suited for special occasions or for enjoying as an after-dinner sipper.

Can I enhance the cherry flavor in the cocktail?

Yes, you could muddle some fresh cherries at the bottom of the glass before adding the other ingredients or use a cherry liqueur to enhance the cherry flavor.

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