To make a perfect Manhattan you need two basic ingredients: rye and sweet vermouth. Combine them in a 2:1 ratio with a couple dashes of bitters and you’re done. To make a Perfect Manhattan you need three ingredients: rye, sweet Italian vermouth and dry French vermouth. Keep the ratio the same, but split the vermouths. Why is it called a Perfect Manhattan? That I’m not sure about, but here’s how I make my Perfect Manhattan.
Perfect Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
2 oz. rye
.5 oz. Italian sweet vermouth
.5 oz. French dry vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon peel for garnish
Combine the rye, sweet and dry vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon peel.
There was a time not too long ago, when rye wasn’t as readily available as it is today. As a result, it wasn’t uncommon to find Manhattans being made with bourbon. These days, there are a proliferation of ryes on the market so there’s no excuse for making one that’s not authentic. Among my favorites are Old Overholt, Bulleit, Rittenhouse, and one indigenous to Baltimore, Pikesville Rye. I’m currently on a quest for a bottle of Willet Family Estate 2 Year, but I’m not sure I’ll be mixing it if and when I find it.