Whisky, Rosso Vermouth and Aromatic Bitters. A true classic and the base for so many cocktail riffs. Feel free to substitute any of the brands we've used here, but if the region you live in produces similar spirits, shop local! There is something very special about making a classic cocktail using 100% of the ingredients from the place we live; Vancouver Island.
Because our Rosso Vermouth is technically classified as a 'Semi-Sweet', meaning less sweet than other brands like Cinzano or Martini, I like to add an extra 7 mL (1/4 oz) of rich 2:1 simple syrup, specifically for this cocktail, which helps balance out the boozyness of a whisky and compensates for our Rosso being less cloyingly sweet than most. I will also often add an extra 7 mL (1/4 oz) of our Bitter Orange for a little more orange botanical flare to the drink. All of these modifications are of course optional, but these are my preferences to create my own ideal Manhattan.
The first known written mention of the Manhattan is in a September 1882 article of the Olean, New York, Sunday Morning Herald. "It is but a short time ago that a mixture of whiskey, vermouth and bitters came into vogue." The same article causes some confusion when it goes on to discuss the name of this concoction, "It went under various names - Manhattan cocktail, Turf Club cocktail, and Jockey Club cocktail." The first full written recipe for the Manhattan appeared two years later in O.H. Byron's 1884 book, The Modern Bartenders' Guide. - Difford’s Guide