Best Italian Manhattan

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Italian Manhattan in a martini glass with orange peel

If you are looking for a cocktail that’s heavy on the comfort factor and bold and strong, then we have the best Italian Manhattan for you. It’s the sweeter and smoother cousin of the classic OG Manhattan, made with rye whiskey to give it a spicier base. If you are a newbie to bourbon, then our Italian Manhattan is a fantastic beginner’s cocktail to enjoy the deliciousness of this Kentucky spirit for the first time. Trust us, with its sweet comforting flavour, you’ll feel quite grown up and fancy sipping it at your next get together.



Zero complicated equipment needed here if you’re looking for a speedy cocktail


Pre-chill your glass for an icy cold perfect sip


For a spicer sip make an original Manhattan with rye whiskey



1 Person

45 Ml

1.5 Oz

1.5 Parts

15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

7.5 Ml

0.25 Oz

0.25 Parts

Maraschino cherry juice
A Maraschino cherry and a slice of orange to garnish (optional)



Pour all your ingredients into a mason jar or shaker along with a handful of ice


Shake until completely chilled


Strain into chilled cocktail or martini glass


Garnish with a cherry skewered with a slice of orange

All the Italian Manhattan cocktail ingredients you need to succeed

Bourbon is the hero of the Italian Manhattan, which blends magically with the sweet and nutty notes of amaretto. As our best Italian Manhattan drink only has three ingredients in it, the flavour of each ingredient is so important. We suggest you choose a high-quality bourbon like Wild Turkey Bourbon and bask in its full vanilla, oak and caramel flavours which make the backbone of this mellow smooth cocktail. Since the Italian Manhattan cocktail features both bourbon and amaretto, blending marzipan tones blend effortlessly with sweet bourbon caramels, this cocktail is often called an Amaretto Manhattan. The cherry on top of this cocktail is the splash of Maraschino cherry juice, the sweet syrup from a jar of sour Marasca cherries.

How to prepare the best Italian Manhattan cocktail recipe

Our recipe for Manhattan cocktail Italian-style could not be simpler, with zero complicated equipment needed. Once you have chosen good quality ingredients, you are onto a winner, and all that’s required is a good shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry and a slice of orange, if you like!

Is the best Italian Manhattan shaken or stirred?

For the best Italian Manhattan cocktail, shaking it over ice will deliver a perfect sip, we think. The process of shaking ingredients over ice allows dilution, as ice will melt faster. Not only does it distribute the chill factor to this Italian Manhattan cocktail; it helps to blend the liquids allowing them to mix with ease. The dilution reduces the ABVs a tad, making this cocktail a little lighter than stirring. The shaking suspends tiny bubbles,  delivering a textured sip that’s slightly clouded. James Bond was partial to sipping his Martini shaken, not stirred.

Stirring a cocktail (over shaking) ultimately means you’re diluting your cocktail less. Your ABVs will be a little stronger. When stirring a cocktail, it chills your drink without diluting it too much. Stirring also delivers a very clear classy drink. It’s a perfect method for a Martini.

Give both methods a try and see which one suits your palate best.

How to serve an Italian Manhattan cocktail

Our beautiful Italian Manhattan is at its best when chilled, so chill your glass in the freezer before serving to keep the cocktail extra cold while sipping. If you’d prefer to stretch your cocktail a little or prefer a more diluted taste, serve it in a tumbler with a handful of ice.

Keep your garnish simple; skewer one or even three cherries on a toothpick for a classic serve or weave a slice of orange between each cherry for an extra fancy look. For ultimate simplicity, just add a twist of orange peel and your cocktail is ready to serve.

The Italian Manhattan cocktail is the perfect drink for cosy get-togethers around a gorgeous grazing table of sliced charcuterie, fabulous cheeses and cut fruits. Choose a chocolate dessert if you’re planning a dinner party, as it pairs really well with bourbon.

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Here at The Mixer we think all Manhattan's are perfect. However, there is a "Perfect Manhattan", it's an interesting twist of splitting the sweet vermouth into equal portions of sweet and dry vermouths.

These to spirit-forward cocktails have similarities but are quite different. A Manhattan is typically poured with rye whiskey and uses sweet vermouth to sweeten the sip. An Old Fashioned has a whiskey (bourbon or rye) base with a dash of bitters. It's sweetened with simple syrup or sugar.

Making an Italian Manhattan cocktail should always involve ice to deliver an icy sip. However, you shouldn't serve this cocktail with ice as the diluting will carry on if you leave this ice in the glass. This will give you a watery sip.