Irish Manhattan

Cocktails | Vermouth | Whiskey

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Irish Manhattan_001

Introduction to the Irish Manhattan

Discover the Irish Manhattan, a sophisticated cocktail that’s perfect for those who appreciate a classic with a twist. The smoothness of Irish whiskey blends seamlessly with the sweet vermouth and bitters, creating a drink that’s both complex and inviting. Ideal for a cozy evening or a celebratory toast, this cocktail is sure to impress.

Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or new to the world of cocktails, the Irish Manhattan is a must-try. Its balance of flavors caters to a variety of palates, making it a versatile choice for any occasion. Let’s dive into the rich flavors and history of this beloved drink.

With its elegant presentation and refined taste, the Irish Manhattan is a cocktail that stands the test of time. Keep reading to learn how to craft this timeless beverage at home.

Key Facts About the Irish Manhattan

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 22% ABV (44 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 180 kcal
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Typical Garnish: Maraschino cherry

Interesting Facts about the Irish Manhattan

  • The Irish Manhattan is a variation of the classic Manhattan, which dates back to the late 1800s.
  • Irish whiskey’s smooth profile offers a unique take on the traditional cocktail, providing a slightly sweeter sip.
  • It’s a popular choice for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, as well as for whiskey enthusiasts year-round.

Irish Manhattan Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Irish Manhattan

The Irish Manhattan offers a harmonious blend of flavors. The Irish whiskey provides a smooth, mellow base with hints of vanilla and caramel. Sweet vermouth adds a touch of herbal sweetness, while the Angostura bitters contribute a layer of complexity with their warm, spicy notes.

This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a drink with depth. It’s well-suited for a quiet night in, a celebratory occasion, or as a sophisticated after-dinner drink. The Irish Manhattan is a versatile cocktail that can set the mood for a variety of settings.

History of the Irish Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail has a storied past, with several theories about its origin. One popular story suggests it was first created at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s. The Irish Manhattan, however, is a more recent innovation, emerging as a variation that highlights the smooth characteristics of Irish whiskey.

Irish whiskey’s rise in popularity has led to creative twists on classic cocktails. The Irish Manhattan is a testament to the spirit’s versatility and appeal. It’s a drink that respects tradition while offering a new experience for the palate.

Over the years, the Irish Manhattan has gained a following among cocktail enthusiasts. Its simple yet elegant composition makes it a staple in the repertoire of any mixologist.

Irish Manhattan Ingredients

  • Irish Whiskey (2 oz / 60 ml): The cornerstone of the cocktail, providing a smooth and slightly sweet base.
  • Sweet Vermouth (1 oz / 30 ml): Adds a rich, herbal sweetness that complements the whiskey.
  • Angostura Bitters (2 dashes): Offers a complex blend of spices that enhances the overall flavor profile.
  • Maraschino Cherry: Serves as a classic garnish, adding a touch of sweetness and an elegant visual appeal.

Did you know? The Manhattan cocktail was one of the first to use vermouth as a modifier. As a relative, the Irish Manhattan continues this tradition with a Gaelic twist.

Pouring Irish Manhattan

Irish Manhattan Method

Creating the perfect Irish Manhattan is an art that involves precision and care. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Chilling the Glass

Begin by placing your cocktail glass in the freezer to chill. A cold glass will keep your drink at the optimal temperature.

Combining the Ingredients

Fill a mixing glass with ice, then measure and pour the Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters over the ice.

Stirring, Not Shaking

Stir the mixture gently for about 30 seconds. This method chills the drink without diluting it too much.

Straining the Cocktail

Using a strainer, pour the chilled mixture into your prepared cocktail glass, ensuring a smooth pour.

Garnishing with a Cherry

Add a maraschino cherry to the drink for the final touch. It’s not just a garnish but also part of the flavor experience.

Serving Suggestion for the Irish Manhattan

The Irish Manhattan is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. The wide brim allows the aroma to enhance the tasting experience, while the stem keeps the drink cool.

Garnish with a single maraschino cherry. It’s a simple yet elegant touch that complements the cocktail’s flavors and adds a pop of color.

Elevating the Irish Manhattan

  • Use Premium Irish Whiskey: Selecting a high-quality Irish whiskey can significantly enhance the drink’s flavor.
  • Experiment with Vermouth: Try different brands or types of vermouth to find your preferred balance of sweetness and herbal notes.
  • Consider Orange Bitters: For a subtle variation, orange bitters can add a fresh citrus twist to the cocktail.

Irish Manhattan with Cherry Garnish

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Irish Manhattan

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, consider these substitutions:

  • Dry Vermouth: For a drier cocktail, replace sweet vermouth with dry vermouth.
  • Other Whiskeys: While Irish whiskey is ideal, you can also use rye or bourbon for a different take on the classic.
  • Alternative Garnishes: Try an orange twist or a cocktail onion for a different flavor profile and presentation.

Similar cocktails include the classic Manhattan, the Rob Roy (made with Scotch whisky), and the Boulevardier (which includes Campari).

Add a Twist to the Irish Manhattan

As an expert mixologist, consider these creative spins:

  • Smoked Irish Manhattan: Add a smoky element by using a peated Irish whiskey or infusing the drink with smoke.
  • Herbal Infusion: Infuse the vermouth with herbs like thyme or rosemary for an aromatic twist.
  • Maple Syrup: A dash of maple syrup can introduce a subtle sweetness and complexity.

Preferred Liquors for the Irish Manhattan

For the best Irish Manhattan, consider these brands:

  • Redbreast 12 Year Old: Known for its rich and complex flavors, perfect for a luxurious cocktail.
  • Green Spot: Offers a slightly fruity and spicy profile that complements the vermouth and bitters.
  • Jameson: A classic choice that’s smooth and versatile, making it accessible for all palates.

Similar Cocktails to the Irish Manhattan

If you enjoy the Irish Manhattan, explore these related cocktails:

  • Classic Manhattan: The original, made with rye or bourbon, for a bolder, spicier flavor.
  • Whiskey Sour: For a citrusy alternative that still highlights whiskey.
  • Old Fashioned: Another whiskey-based classic that’s simple and satisfying.

Food Pairings to Go with the Irish Manhattan

Complement your Irish Manhattan with these food pairings:

  • Charcuterie: A selection of cured meats and cheeses balances the cocktail’s richness.
  • Dark Chocolate: Enhances the whiskey’s sweet notes and adds a luxurious element.
  • Roasted Nuts: A simple yet satisfying snack that pairs well with the drink’s complexity.

Irish Manhattan FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions about the Irish Manhattan:

  • Can I use a different type of bitters? Yes, feel free to experiment with different bitters to find your preferred taste.
  • Is it necessary to use a cocktail glass? While traditional, you can use any small glass that allows you to enjoy the aroma and taste.
  • How can I make my Irish Manhattan less sweet? Try using less vermouth or opting for a dry vermouth instead.
Irish Manhattan_001

Irish Manhattan

The Irish Manhattan is a delightful twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, substituting Irish whiskey for the traditional rye or bourbon. This gives the drink a smoother, slightly sweeter profile that complements the herbal notes of the vermouth and the bitters.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Irish
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass


  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  • Pour the Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters over the ice.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


For a drier version, you may opt for a ratio of 2:1 Irish whiskey to dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth. Always use high-quality ingredients to ensure the best taste.
Keyword bitters, cherry, Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, Irish Manhattan, Irish whiskey, mixology, Stirred Cocktail, sweet vermouth, whiskey cocktail

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