Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Drinks Decoded: The Manhattan

by Lanna Nguyen on Oct 30, 2015 in Roundups

In this series, we take a closer look at well-known cocktails. Get to know the history behind these classic drinks as well as where you can find them in the DMV area. This week’s Drinks Decoded takes on the Manhattan.
 
The Basics
The Manhattan cocktail is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. It is typically stirred, strained into a cocktail glass, and served straight up with a maraschino cherry. Variations of the drink include shaking the ingredients with ice in a shaker instead of stirring, garnishing with a lemon peel, employing bitters other than Angostura, and using bourbon or Canadian whiskey instead of American rye whiskey. Additionally, the Manhattan was one of the first drinks to use vermouth as a sweetener.
 
The Backstory
The Manhattan dates back to the late 1800’s where legend states it was first stirred up at party thrown by Jennie Jerome in 1874 (otherwise known as Lady Randolph Churchill, otherwise known as Winston Churchill’s mother). The party was held in New York at the Manhattan Club, thus giving us the name “Manhattan.” The socialite’s popularity and the success of her party supposedly catapulted the cocktail into high society, making it all the rage. Before you believe that, records show that Lady Randolph was actually in England, pregnant with Winston at the time. The more likely story behind the eponymous cocktail is that it was created to represent one of the five boroughs in New York City. Of the other boroughs, it most closely resembles the Bronx, a drink made with dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur.
 
The Bars
The hefty price tag that comes with this Manhattan is certainly worth a try. Made with Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye (a small batch whiskey from Bristol, PA), Dolin sweet vermouth, and Byrrh Quinquina (a French aperitif). Before you flinch at the $22 price tag, just think you’re being super classy, sipping your Manhattan in the fancy lounge of one of Georgetown’s poshest hotels. Totally worth it. (1050 31st St., NW; 202-617-2400)
 
On the complete opposite end of the price spectrum if you come during happy hour, the Riggsby offers up a Manhattan for just $6 ($13 for regular hours). Happy Hour runs from 4–7 PM, Monday through Friday. (1731 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-787-1500)
 
The Dupont Circle basement bar boasts a long list of Manhattans and variations...15 to be exact. Stop by if you want to try the classic version (rye, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters) which can be snagged for $6 during happy hour or sample a new take on it, like the Brooklyn Cocktail (Dickel Rye, dry vermouth, Luxardo, Averna). (1825 18th St., NW; 202-627-2183)

Photo by The Drink Nation

Tags: Cocktails, Education
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Where to Celebrate Independence Day 2017 in D.C.

Where to Celebrate Independence Day 2017 in D.C.

There's no better way to celebrate Independence Day than in the nation's capital. Whether you're looking for a rooftop view of the fireworks, great ba...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Jun 27, 2017
Enjoy Sundresses and Sangria at Pamplona

Enjoy Sundresses and Sangria at Pamplona

Expect eloquent sundresses, patio entertainment, Sangria pitchers and Pamplona's best bites....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jun 27, 2017
SPONSORED
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are
Here's Where You'll Be Drinking in D.C. This Summer

Here's Where You'll Be Drinking in D.C. This Summer

When the dog days of summer hit DC, there's no better way to cool off than with ice cold beers and refreshing cocktails. Check out our list of bars to...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Jun 20, 2017
A Bar in Brooklyn Now Has a Beer ATM

A Bar in Brooklyn Now Has a Beer ATM

It was inevitable - people love beer, and people love convenience, especially in New York City. So Randolph Beer in Brooklyn has designed a convenient...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jun 20, 2017
Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Getting His Own Beer

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Getting His Own Beer

Astrophysicist, writer, and television personality Neil DeGrasse Tyson now has his very own beer, courtesy of Asheville Brewing Company....read more ›

by Drink Philly Jun 14, 2017
Drink These Warm Weather Cocktails In D.C. This Summer

Drink These Warm Weather Cocktails In D.C. This Summer

There's no better way to beat the heat than with tiki drinks, specialty cocktails, and punches made with fresh fruit - check out the seasonal specials...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Jun 13, 2017
Things No One Asked For: Fireball Gummy Candies

Things No One Asked For: Fireball Gummy Candies

Get ready - both Irish Confectionery Co. and VineGelee are now selling gummy bears spiked with Fireball. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jun 13, 2017
D.C. Is Getting a 'Game of Thrones' Pop-Up Bar For the Summer

D.C. Is Getting a 'Game of Thrones' Pop-Up Bar For the Summer

D.C. is getting a Game of Thrones pop-up bar - three of them, in fact. Drink Company (run by Derek Brown and Angie Fetherston) is turning three of its...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 12, 2017
AB InBev Buys Minority Shares in RateBeer.com: Craft Beer Brands Ask to Be Removed From Site

AB InBev Buys Minority Shares in RateBeer.com: Craft Beer Brands Ask to Be Removed From Site

Global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev now has a minority stake in RateBeer.com....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jun 12, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close