Ruby Manhattan


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Ruby Manhattan_001

Introduction to the Ruby Manhattan

The Ruby Manhattan is a sophisticated cocktail that marries the boldness of rye whiskey with the sweetness of port wine. This drink is a colorful variant of the classic Manhattan, offering a unique taste experience. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a classic cocktail with a twist.

With its deep red hue, the Ruby Manhattan is as visually appealing as it is delicious. The addition of port wine not only provides a richer color but also introduces a subtle sweetness that complements the whiskey’s spiciness. This cocktail is a testament to the art of mixology.

Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or new to the world of mixed drinks, the Ruby Manhattan is a must-try. Its balance of flavors makes it a versatile choice for various occasions, from a quiet evening at home to a celebratory toast.

Key Facts About the Ruby Manhattan

Alcohol Volume: Approx. 30% ABV

Calories: Approx. 180 kcal

Preferred Glass: Chilled martini glass or rocks glass

Typical Garnish: Maraschino cherry

Interesting Facts about the Ruby Manhattan

The Ruby Manhattan is a modern take on a cocktail that dates back to the late 19th century. Its port wine addition offers a nod to the fortified wine’s long history of being enjoyed as a sophisticated drink. This cocktail’s versatility allows it to be enjoyed year-round, providing warmth in the winter and a refreshing twist in the summer.

Ruby Manhattan Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Ruby Manhattan offers a complex flavor profile that is both robust and smooth. The rye whiskey provides a spicy and woody base, while the port wine adds a layer of richness and fruitiness. Sweet vermouth rounds out the drink with herbal notes.

This cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy a drink with depth and character. It’s particularly suited for after-dinner sipping or as a sophisticated addition to a cocktail party. The Ruby Manhattan’s elegance makes it a perfect choice for celebratory occasions or simply as an indulgent treat.

History of the Ruby Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail has a storied history, with its origins often linked to New York City’s Manhattan Club in the early 1870s. Over the years, the classic recipe has seen numerous variations, with the Ruby Manhattan being a contemporary adaptation.

The introduction of port wine into the Manhattan recipe is a relatively recent innovation. It reflects the growing trend of experimenting with traditional cocktails to suit modern palates. The Ruby Manhattan retains the essence of the original while offering a new sensory experience.

As with many cocktails, the exact origin of the Ruby Manhattan is not well-documented, but it stands as a testament to the creativity and evolution of mixology. This cocktail continues to gain popularity among those who appreciate the fusion of classic and contemporary flavors.

Ruby Manhattan Ingredients

  • Rye Whiskey: 2 oz (60 ml) – The backbone of the cocktail, providing a spicy kick.
  • Port Wine: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Adds a touch of sweetness and a ruby color.
  • Sweet Vermouth: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Balances the drink with herbal complexity.
  • Angostura Bitters: 2 dashes – Offers depth and ties the flavors together.
  • Maraschino Cherry: For garnish – Adds a classic cocktail finish and a hint of cherry flavor.

Did you know?

“The Manhattan cocktail was one of the first drinks to use vermouth as a modifier. As a direct descendant, the Ruby Manhattan continues this tradition with a twist.”

Ingredients for Ruby Manhattan

Ruby Manhattan Method

Chilling the Glass

Start by placing your martini or rocks glass in the freezer to chill. A cold glass will ensure your cocktail stays chilled longer.

Preparing the Mix

Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes to the brim. This will help chill the ingredients quickly without diluting the drink too much.

Combining the Ingredients

Pour the rye whiskey, port wine, sweet vermouth, and bitters over the ice. The order doesn’t affect the taste, but it’s customary to start with the main spirit.


Use a bar spoon to stir the mixture for about 30 seconds. Stirring, as opposed to shaking, will prevent the drink from becoming cloudy and overly diluted.


Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass. If using a rocks glass, you may add a large ice cube before straining the drink over it.


Add a maraschino cherry to the drink for the final touch. The garnish should complement the drink without overpowering it.

Serving Suggestion

The Ruby Manhattan is traditionally served in a chilled martini glass or a rocks glass. The martini glass presents an elegant appearance, while the rocks glass offers a more casual experience.

For garnish, a single maraschino cherry is placed at the bottom of the glass or skewered on a cocktail pick. The cherry provides a subtle sweetness and an attractive visual contrast to the drink’s deep red color.

Elevating the Ruby Manhattan

  • Use Premium Spirits: Opt for high-quality rye whiskey and port wine to enhance the cocktail’s flavor profile.
  • Experiment with Bitters: While Angostura bitters are traditional, trying different bitters can add unique notes to your Ruby Manhattan.
  • Adjust Sweetness: Play with the ratio of port wine and sweet vermouth to find the perfect balance for your palate.

Ruby Manhattan Cocktail Preparation

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Ruby Manhattan

If you don’t have rye whiskey on hand, bourbon is a suitable substitute, though it will add a sweeter, less spicy flavor to the cocktail. In the absence of port wine, a red vermouth or a berry liqueur can provide a similar color and sweetness.

Similar cocktails that share the spirit of the Ruby Manhattan include the Boulevardier and the Whiskey Sour. These drinks also balance the robustness of whiskey with complementary flavors.

Add a Twist

For a smoky variant, try adding a dash of peated Scotch to the mix. To bring out more herbal notes, muddle a sprig of thyme in the glass before pouring the cocktail. For a fruitier version, a splash of cherry liqueur can enhance the cherry garnish’s flavor.

Preferred Liquors for the Ruby Manhattan

When crafting a Ruby Manhattan, consider using Rittenhouse Rye for its bold spice or Bulleit Rye for its smoothness. For the port wine, a Tawny or Ruby Port from a reputable producer like Graham’s will add the desired sweetness and color.

Similar Cocktails to the Ruby Manhattan

If you enjoy the Ruby Manhattan, you might also like the Classic Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, or the Negroni. These cocktails share a similar complexity and depth of flavor.

Food Pairings to go with the Ruby Manhattan

Classic pairings with the Ruby Manhattan include rich meats like steak or lamb. For a lighter option, consider a cheese platter featuring blue cheese or aged cheddar. Chocolate desserts also complement the cocktail’s sweetness.

Ruby Manhattan FAQs

Can I use bourbon instead of rye whiskey? Yes, bourbon can be used, but it will alter the flavor profile, making the cocktail sweeter.

Is it necessary to use a specific type of port wine? While any port wine will work, a Ruby Port is recommended for its vibrant color and sweetness.

Can I shake the Ruby Manhattan instead of stirring? Stirring is preferred to maintain clarity and texture, but shaking will make the drink colder and slightly diluted.

Ruby Manhattan_001

Ruby Manhattan

The Ruby Manhattan is a vibrant twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, incorporating port wine to give it a ruby hue and a slightly sweeter palate. This drink is perfect for those who enjoy a traditional Manhattan but are looking for a unique touch.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Martini glass or rocks glass


  • 2 oz Rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Port wine
  • 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the rye whiskey, port wine, sweet vermouth, and bitters into the glass.
  • Stir the mixture until well chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass or a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


For a smoother Manhattan, consider using a premium rye whiskey. Adjust the sweetness by varying the ratio of port wine and sweet vermouth to taste.
Keyword bitters, Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, Port Wine, Ruby Manhattan, Stirred Cocktail, sweet vermouth, traditional recipe, Whiskey

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