Bartender Prepares and Tastes Three Different Versions of the Classic Manhattan Cocktail

Slovenian bartender Kevin Kos prepared and tasted three different versions of the classic Manhattan cocktail according to recipes from 1884, 1887, and the present day.

Today I’m doing Manhattan, three ways, because it has been served and made in different ways throughout its history. I made three versions of this classic cocktail with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, by using recipes from 1884, 1887, and the well-known modern version.

While each of the three calls for whiskey and sweet vermouth, the preparations are a bit different. The 1884 version is made with rye and gum syrup and served in a pony glass, the 1887 version also includes gum syrup but reverses the portion of whiskey and vermouth, and is shaken not stirred. The modern version consists of 2 parts whiskey, 1 part vermouth, and 4 dashes of bitters. It is usually served in a coupe or martini glass. It can also be served on the rocks in an Old-Fashioned glass.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.