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What is the history of the Manhattan cocktail?

The Manhattan is one of my go to cocktails and one of the earliest that I learned to master.....

The Manhattan cocktail is a classic cocktail that has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. While its exact origins are debated, the general consensus is that the Manhattan was created in the 1870s or early 1880s.


The popular theory is that the Manhattan cocktail was invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City. It is believed to have been created for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Sir Winston Churchill. The cocktail was named after the club and quickly gained popularity.


Another theory suggests that the Manhattan was invented by a bartender named Julio Richelieu, who worked at the Hoffman House in New York City. According to this theory, Richelieu created the cocktail for a party thrown by Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill.


Regardless of its exact origins, the Manhattan cocktail quickly became a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and gained widespread popularity. It was commonly enjoyed during the Prohibition era in the United States when the consumption of alcohol was illegal.


The classic Manhattan cocktail recipe typically consists of whiskey (traditionally rye whiskey, but bourbon is also commonly used), sweet vermouth, and a dash of aromatic bitters. The drink is stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. It is often garnished with a cherry or a twist of lemon peel.


Over the years, variations of the Manhattan cocktail have emerged, such as the Perfect Manhattan (made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth) and the Rob Roy (made with Scotch whisky instead of American whiskey).


The Manhattan remains a beloved and iconic cocktail, symbolizing the elegance and sophistication of classic mixology. It has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world.


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