2 oz. Premium Bourbon or Rye (>80 proof)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth¹
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Two Maraschino Cherries
Place one large ice cube in a snifter glass. Add bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters. Thoroughly stir (you do want some dilution). Garnish with two² Maraschino Cherries³.
"No cop for youse," said the waiter, with a voice like butter cakes and an eye like the cherry in a Manhattan cocktail"
O. Henry, The Cop and The Anthem - 1904
While the Old Fashioned may be the original cocktail, the Manhattan is the perfect cocktail – simple (it only really has three ingredients), yet the jumping off point of numerous other cocktails (the Boulevardier: substitute an ounce of Campari for the bitters, Rob Roy: replace the bourbon with scotch, The Brooklyn: add maraschino liqueur; The Old Pal: replace bourbon with rye). Also varying the quantity and type of the vermouth can allow a host to have one drink suite numerous palates:
Reverse the ratio of bourbon to vermouth for the more feminine palate
Use some dry vermouth for the more masculine palate⁴
Note: Make a Flackhatten II© by freezing a ¼ - ½” of water in an old fashioned glass prior to making the drink. The author (and his wife) was visiting his Mother-in-law for Christmas 2012. We had a secret stash of liquor in the guest bedroom night table (please don’t tell). Prior to going out one night he decided to make a some drinks out of Southern Comfort⁵, dry vermouth and bitters, but was dismayed to find no ice in the freezer. Necessity being the mother of invention, he decided to freeze a couple of ounces of water in bottom of two glasses and then mix the ingredients on top of the ice. This resulted in the idea of using this technique to keep a Flackhattan© cold while preventing excessive dilution.
According to Mrs. Emily Flack, a Manhattan straight up was served at German-American wedding receptions in Ridgewood, NY circa 1940.
¹Vermouth (which is a fortified wine) should be stored in the refrigerator. Buy in small bottles as it loses something as it ages
²Because two is better than one
³To create a Manhattan straight up, combine ingredients with ice in a shaker, stir (or shake), strain into a martini glass, garnish with a cherry
⁴Using a 1:1 ratio of sweet to dry vermouth is called a “Perfect Flackhattan©"
⁵Not a favorite of Dave Huners