How To Make A Manhattan When You’re Out Of Some Ingredients

So your favorite local watering holes are closed, which means you’re on your own, mixology-wise. 

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make a classic cocktail that’s reminiscent of what it’s like to be out on the town in New York City. Here’s how to make the classic Manhattan:

In a cocktail mixer (or pint glass), mix two shots of rye whiskey, a scant shot of sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters with ice. Strain into a martini glass or champagne coupe if you have one. If not, a regular tumbler will do. 

You may not have these ingredients just sitting around. Because of COVID-19, some provisions have become difficult to find, and as a result, your kitchen or cocktail cart these days may be looking a bit sparse. And it’s not really an essential errand to go out for a jar of maraschino cherries. So consider these few special twists on the classic Manhattan, variations we’re calling, the “Lower Manhattan.” 

If you’re missing maraschino cherries

That sugary garnish is a great topper for the classic Manhattan, but it’s not a deal breaker if it’s left out. Try replacing a cherry with an orange or lemon peel. For an extra kick of sweetness, add a dash of simple syrup (sugar and water reduced in a saucepan over low heat).

If you’re missing sweet vermouth

Sweet vermouth is just a kind of fortified wine, sweetened and spiced with herbs. You know what else is a fortified wine? Port and sherry. So in a pinch, try one part port or sherry instead. 

If you’re missing Angostura bitters

Try orange bitters. 

If you’re missing all kinds of bitters

You can actually make your own: Take a pinch of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and a finely chopped lemon or orange peel and mix it up in two tablespoons of vodka or rum. 

See, “lower” doesn’t mean lesser. It’s just different. 

And, if you’re missing whiskey, well, that’s pretty essential for both the classic Manhattan and the Lower Manhattan. Fortunately, these liquor stores will bring booze right to your door.