Cocktail Recipes/ Whisky Cocktails

Classic Manhattan Recipe

Classic Manhattan Recipe

Ah the classic Manhattan cocktail. This is another one of those drinks that has been around for many years (it’s thought to have originated in the 1870’s) and was again made popular by the popular TV series, Mad Men. As I mentioned in my Gin Gimlet Recipe post, Karlynn and I recently hosted a Mad Men themed party in our vintage home bar.

Side note: You can get an inside look at how the room looks in Karlynn’s latest post: How to Throw a Mad Men Party

As part of this party, we created cocktail stations centered around popular characters from the show, Mad Men. This was one of the cocktails I made for the party and it was very popular.


Here’s a look at the card I made; including the fun character profile; for the Joan Harris Classic Manhattan station:

Classic Manhattan Recipe

One of the staples of the Classic Manhattan recipe is, of course, an easy drinking whisky. Since the show focused heavily on Canadian Club as their whisky of choice, that’s what I based this particular Manhattan recipe off of. Canadian Club is a great choice for a few reasons; it’s quite inexpensive and it’s smooth enough that it mixes well (also makes a mean old fashioned).

Classic Manhattan Recipe

Side note: The glasses you see above are called Queen’s Lusterware and are from our vintage barware collection. We actually have quite a few of these in various styles from the classic roly poly (commonly used for the old fashioned) to pilsner glasses. 

This is a strong drink meant primarily for sipping slowly (think port or similar) so use small sherry glasses similar to the above when serving.

To make a Classic Manhattan, you need the following ingredients:

  • Canadian Club whisky (or your whisky of choice)
  • Vermouth
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Angostura bitters (linked below)

To prepare, add 2 oz Canadian Club whisky to 1/2 oz of vermouth. Add in a dash of bitters and 1 maraschino cherry. Give it a stir.

Now turn on the fireplace, cozy up with your Classic Manhattan and enjoy!

Classic Manhattan Recipe

To see all of the other drinks and the write up on the Mad Men Party, click these links below!

How to Throw a Mad Men Party

Gin Gimlet Recipe

Greyhound Cocktail Recipe

Old Fashioned Recipe

And there you have it! All the booze that you need for your Mad Men Themed Party!

Happy (and responsible) drinking everyone! Love you more than Old Fashioned’s,

Mike (aka Mr Magpie)



Classic Manhattan Recipe

  • Author: Mr. Kitchen Magpie
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Category: Drinks


Get the perfect Classic Manhattan Recipe, this whisky and vermouth based, sweet drink is great for sipping.


  • 2 oz Canadian Club whisky (or your whisky of choice)
  • 1/2 oz vermouth
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters


  1. Add 2 oz Canadian Club whisky to a glass

  2. Add 1/2 oz vermouth

  3. Add 1 dash of bitters

  4. Add 1 maraschino cherry

  5. Stir and enjoy.


  • Serving Size: 1person


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