Discover our classic cocktails: Manhattan

Discover our classic cocktails: Manhattan

When you visit The Book Club – Shoreditch, you can choose from our bespoke cocktails, or if you prefer, one of the solid classic cocktails, including the Manhattan.

The Manhattan is the quintessential cocktail for whiskey-lovers. This wonderful mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters has been loved for its subtle bitterness and herbal undertones over several centuries. It is excellent if you’re looking for a balanced yet complex taste with a hint of sweetness.

As with several classic cocktails, the origin story of the Manhattan is lost to time. The most popular theory is that Dr Iain Marshall developed the drink in the early 1880s for a party by Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill. However, this myth was later debunked since the Lady was in England during that time, pregnant.

A 1923 book named “Valentine’s Manual of New York” presents a more plausible tale. According to the publication, the Manhattan cocktail was invented by a man named Black in the 1880s. And while the origins of the Manhattan remain questionable, fans of the tipple claim that the dash of mystery about its roots adds to its appeal.

Variations of the Manhattan

The Manhattan has three essential elements: whiskey’s richness, the vermouth’s subtle sweetness, and the aromatic bitters to balance everything, making the Manhattan a perfect starting point for several variations that simply add a twist to its classic flare.

The Rob Roy or Scotch Manhattan

Created in 1894, probably in ode to the Scottish outlaw and folk hero, a bartender at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, New York City swapped out the traditional rye or bourbon for scotch.

The Perfect Manhattan

This twist on the Manhattan offers an understated change in the already-subtle sweetness of the original. It entails a 50/50 blend of sweet vermouth and dry vermouth instead of the traditional sweet vermouth only.

The Dry Manhattan

By completely replacing the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth, the emphasis of the drink is the rich, herby, and bitter flavour of the whiskey and bitters that remains.

If you’re a connoisseur of classic cocktails, you’ll be pleased to know that The Book Club – Shoreditch still mixes Manhattans as they were originally intended. So, join us and raise a toast to the creativity, to whomever it may belong to, that gave us the Manhattan.

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