The history of the Manhattan cocktail is surrounded with mystery, controversy, variations and storytelling. Wait - that seems to be the story surrounding most popular cocktails. Who invented the drink (was it Winston Churchill's mother?) and which type of whiskey was originally used (American rye, Canadian rye, or bourbon) is unknown, and it really doesn't matter. The drink is named after Manhattan Island in New York, where it may or may not have been invented. Some stir; some shake.
My recipe is not completely classic, but this is my blog and my Manhattan recipe. I use Rye, and quite a bit. If you can't find Amarena cherries (Trader Joe's carries them), regular maraschino cherries will do.
3 ounces Rye Whiskey (such as Bulleit or Old Overholt)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
One Amerena or Maraschino cherry, on a skewer
Fill shaker half-full with ice. Pour the whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters in shaker. Shake it five times. Let it rest for about one minute, while the garnish is skewered and placed in a cocktail (martini) glass. Shake five more times, then strain into the glass.
Makes one cocktail.