Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by My Back Kitchen
The Manhattan is a timeless and sophisticated cocktail that has been enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts for over a century. With its perfect balance of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, it’s a drink that exudes elegance and complexity. While the classic Manhattan is typically made with bourbon, there is an alternative that brings a unique depth of flavor to the mix – the Rye Manhattan. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of the Rye Manhattan, exploring the best rye whiskey options, the perfect proportions, and the art of garnishing to create a truly exceptional cocktail experience.
The Distinctive Flavor of Rye Whiskey:
Rye whiskey is a grain spirit that offers a distinct flavor profile compared to bourbon. It tends to be spicier, drier, and more assertive, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a bolder and more complex Manhattan. Rye whiskey provides a delightful interplay of flavors, complementing the sweetness of the vermouth and the bitterness of the bitters.
Selecting the Right Rye Whiskey:
When choosing a rye whiskey for your Manhattan, consider the following factors:
Mash Bill: Rye whiskies can vary in their grain composition. Look for a high-rye mash bill, typically containing at least 51% rye, to ensure a pronounced rye flavor.
Age: Rye whiskies can be aged for different lengths of time, ranging from unaged (white) to several years. Aged rye whiskies often develop deeper flavors and smoother textures.
Flavor Profile: Taste is subjective, so consider the flavor profile you prefer. Some rye whiskies offer spicy notes, while others have fruity or herbal nuances. Experiment with different brands and expressions to find your favorite.
The Art of Garnishing:
The garnish adds visual appeal and a final touch of flavor to your Rye Manhattan. Consider these options:
Cherry: A classic Manhattan garnish is a luxardo cherry. Opt for high-quality, natural cherries for a sophisticated touch.
Orange Twist: Express the oils from a fresh orange twist over the cocktail to release its citrusy aroma. Then, twist the peel and place it in the glass as a garnish. This adds a vibrant and fragrant element to the drink.
Lemon Twist: For a subtle twist, try garnishing with a lemon peel instead. It imparts a slightly different citrus note, adding complexity to the overall flavor profile.
The Rye Manhattan offers a captivating twist on the classic cocktail, introducing a spicier and more robust character. With the right rye whiskey, balanced proportions, and artful garnishing, you can create a drink that embodies sophistication and pleases the discerning palate. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the craft of mixology, and embark on a flavor journey with the best Rye Manhattan. For those looking for a change of pace, give our Sicilian Manhattan a try. Cheers to enjoying a cocktail experience that combines tradition, innovation, and your personal touch. Enjoy!
Best Rye Manhattan
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 luxardo cherry
- 1 slice fresh orange peel
- 2 oz. rye good quality such as Rittenhouse
- 3 dashes angostura bitters
- Using a shaker, combine vermouth, rye, and bitters. Add ice and stir for 30-45 seconds. Strain and serve into your glass of choice. Add luxardo cherry. Garnish with fresh orange peel, expressing the oils over the glass before adding to your drink. For an extra special cocktail, try lightly flaming your orange peel with a kitchen torch to extract more orange flavor before expressing. Enjoy!