Manhattan Vs Old Fashioned


The Manhattan and Old Fashioned cocktails have stood the test of time and remain favorites among whiskey enthusiasts and casual drinkers.

Both beverages feature a base spirit combined with bitters to add depth and nuance, with the Manhattan adding vermouth, which contains botanical extracts for additional depth and sweetness to their cocktail.


As two iconic whiskey cocktails, the Manhattan and Old Fashioned stand out. At first glance, they may seem similar, yet several vital distinctions separate these drinks. First of all, their origins and recipes vary; traditionally, the Manhattan is made using rye whiskey with sweet vermouth, while an Old Fashioned usually calls for bourbon and bitters as its base ingredient. Furthermore, these beverages differ regarding garnishes and serving methods; traditionally speaking, a Manhattan is served in a cocktail glass or martini glass, while an Old Fashioned often uses an oval low tumbler (often called an Old Fashioned glass).

The Manhattan and Old Fashioned have long histories; they’re among the oldest cocktails in the American cocktail tradition. Although its exact roots remain obscure, one theory proposes that an Old Fashioned was first recorded in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide, published in 1862, and consisted of bourbon, sugar (gum syrup), and bitters; on the other hand, Manhattans may have first made their appearance sometime between the late 1800s or early 1900s at a political banquet held at Manhattan Club hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill herself – Winston’s mother!

No matter their origins, the Manhattan and Old Fashioned whiskey cocktails are mouth-watering drinks with rich and complex flavors that make them perfect for after-dinner drinks. Both recipes can also be easily prepared at home, making them ideal for home mixologists and professional bartenders!

When creating the ideal Manhattan, begin with high-quality rye whiskey that boasts a distinctive yet smooth flavor; sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters are then added for flavor complexity, with sweet vermouth helping balance bourbon while adding sweetness. Finally, stir until everything has mixed evenly!


Both cocktails have three ingredients: whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Both drinks can be described as spirit-forward cocktails because their primary taste comes from whiskey rather than from other components of the drink. In Manhattan, vermouth provides sweetening via its floral notes – less sweet than simple syrup while providing additional depth of flavor!

The Manhattan relies on more sweet vermouth than its Old Fashioned counterpart for an enhanced flavor profile. Both cocktails use bitters to balance out these complex tastes; exact recipes vary by bartender; while classic bitters such as Angostura and Orange exist, mixologists can experiment with various flavor profiles until finding an optimal combination.

When crafting a Manhattan, selecting the appropriate whiskey is crucial. While traditional recipes use blends, single malt or high-end bourbon can also work. Selecting corn-based bourbon (bourbon) or spicy and peppery rye whiskeys such as rye can impact how your cocktail turns out; both provide different degrees of sweet or sharp notes in their overall flavors.

Though both cocktails may look similar, their main distinction is that Manhattan includes a sugar cube while an Old Fashioned doesn’t. Although sugar cubes can be added for flavor purposes when muddling together ingredients for an Old Fashioned, their inclusion isn’t an essential step; thus, the choice of garnish is also different: an Old Fashioned typically requires orange peel while Manhattans often feature brandied cherries as garnish.

The Manhattan and Old Fashioned cocktails are timeless classics that never go out of style. Your preferred drink may depend on personal preference; either will make an excellent addition to any whiskey drinker’s beverage arsenal. If this is your first time experiencing either cocktail, try both and see which you like best; chances are, one will become your new favorite drink!


The Manhattan and Old Fashioned are two whiskey-based cocktails with many common characteristics. Both beverages use bourbon or rye as the base spirit and complement it with bitters; both drinks should be stirred rather than shaken for optimal results. They are served in traditional cocktail glasses known as Nick and Nora glasses (Old Fashioned glasses).

The main distinction between a Manhattan and an old-fashioned cocktail is their choice of whiskey: Bourbon in an old fashioned, while a Manhattan usually calls for Rye whiskey, which lends more spice and less sweetness than its counterpart bourbon.

When making a Manhattan, it is vital to use high-quality whiskey with rich flavors for optimal results. Furthermore, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters should also be added for enhanced effect and an elegant cocktail experience.

As with any drink, it is also crucial that the cocktail be stirred slowly and gently to prevent too much water from entering its composition. Furthermore, chilled glasses ensure that all components mix evenly for maximum effects.

When creating an elegant cocktail experience, such as the Manhattan, final touches must be given. A classic Manhattan garnish would include cherries. However, many enjoy adding citrus elements such as orange or lemon to their drinks for added flair.

The Manhattan and old-fashioned are classic cocktails sure to please any whiskey connoisseur. If you haven’t experienced one yet, give it a go – you might like them more than you thought!


The Manhattan and Old Fashioned are two iconic whiskey-based cocktails boasting long histories. Although similar, each drink differs significantly in history, recipe, and serving methods, creating distinct drinks with distinctive tastes to satisfy diverse audiences. Either can be done alone or mixed into other mixed beverages for an aperitif before dinner.

The critical distinction between a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned is their use of sugar; an Old Fashioned is typically sweetened using one sugar cube or simple syrup, whereas sweet vermouth is used instead in a Manhattan. Sweet vermouth adds depth of flavor while providing extra sweetness, making the Manhattan more complex than an Old Fashioned and suitable for those who enjoy more decadent cocktails.

Both Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are typically garnished with either orange zest or cocktail cherries, though garnish preferences for Manhattans can differ depending on your bartender; some prefer maraschino cherries, while others opt for lemon twists or maraschino cherry martinis instead of maraschinos – no matter your choice it is important to remember these drinks are spirit forward and should be enjoyed over ice cubes!

A Manhattan and an Old Fashioned differ primarily based on their whiskey selection. A Manhattan is typically prepared using rye whiskey, while its Old Fashioned counterpart uses bourbon; rye gives this cocktail its signature spicy flavors, while bourbon gives a smoother taste profile.

A critical distinction between these cocktails is their respective serving sizes: Manhattans are typically served in martini glasses, while Old Fashioneds should be enjoyed on the rocks. You may add dilution by mixing both drinks over ice; however, care must be taken to prevent watering down either glass.