The (Perfect) Manhattan

Many drinkers will agree that the standard Manhattan is a perfect cocktail: simple, balanced and elegant. But the Perfect Manhattan is in fact a separate, though closely related, drink; the “Perfect” in the drink’s name refers not to a cocktail made perfectly (though that is, of course, the aim) but rather to the use of two different styles of vermouth in “perfect”—which is to say, equal—proportions.

Perfect Manhattan


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: brandied cherry or a lemon twist


  1. Add the rye whiskey, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass or cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lemon twist.
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