The Best Way to Make a Manhattan

A less sweet—and more balanced—twist on a true cocktail classic.

It's a true classic cocktail: elegant, simple, tasty, strong, and also utterly manly with the just-the-right hint of subtle sweetness. Yes, I'm talking about the Manhattan, the martini's bourbon-based cousin. But what's the best way to make one? For that we checked in with one of my all-time favorite barkeeps, Tarin Fasano of The Spotted Pig, based in (where else?) the West Village in Manhattan.

According to Fasano, the truly perfect Perfect Manhattan offers a combination of sweet and dry vermouth, which makes this version slightly less sweet than your average Manhattan, but way more balanced. Bonus: her choice of adding Carpano Antica lends it beautiful chocolate and burnt orange notes. Feel free garnish it with a lemon twist instead of a cherry—anyone can be forgiven for not having a steady supply of maraschino cherries on hand—but you know the old saying: everything's better… "with a cherry on top!"

Here's how to make the perfect Perfect Manhattan. And for more cocktail making tips, here's How Real Men Make a Martini. 



Chill a coup glass in freezer for at least 5 minutes. Shake the whiskey, and both vermouths in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Strain into chilled coup glass. Add the dash of bitters, and garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.

Shana Wall is a certified sommelier, cellar consultant, and contributing editor for Best Life Magazine. Follow her on Instagram or email her at [email protected]BestLifeMag.comFor more advice on living your best life, follow us on Facebook now!