A Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, ice, and bitters. Commonly used whiskeys include rye (the traditional choice), Canadian, bourbon and Tennessee. Proportions of whiskey to vermouth vary, from a very sweet 1:1 ratio to a much drier 4:1 ratio. The cocktail is often stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass, where it is garnished with a Maraschino cherry with a stem. A Manhattan is also frequently served on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass (lowball glass).
The Manhattan is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's classic The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. It has been called a drinking man's cocktail—strong, urbane, and simple. It has also been called the "king of cocktails."
A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated — "the Manhattan cocktail." The original "Manhattan cocktail" was a mix of "American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters".
However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called "Manhattan" and served in the Manhattan area. By one account...