Although when people say “bitters,” the first drink that normally comes to mind is the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan is usually uttered in the very same mental breath.  It’s a classic cocktail that uses sweet (or “red”) vermouth to balance out the bitters and alcohol instead of sugar or simple syrup.  The Manhattan also diverges from the Old Fashioned in its traditional base-booze, which is straight rye whiskey only–although many people today make Manhattans with bourbon.

Again, Embitterment leans in a quasi-traditional direction when it comes to this drink–we think it’s best with rye because the earthy, yet clean flavor of most good ryes plays well with the funky grapeiness of the sweet vermouth, which is a type of fortified wine.  This is not to say that you shouldn’t go off and experiment to your heart’s content, but sometimes it’s just nice to stick with what works.


-3 oz rye whiskey (We like Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye for a bit of D.C. local flair)

-1.5 oz sweet vermouth (Martini and Rossi “Rosso” is a solid, inexpensive option, although Dolin’s is better.)

-3 Dashes Embitterment Orange Bitters

-Orange Peel, Maraschino Cherry (For garnish)


  1. Combine the rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters in a mixing pint glass with plenty of ice.
  2. Stir until the drink is chilled and the ingredients evenly integrated (for 20-30 seconds)
  3. Strain into a highball glass and garnish with the orange peel and/ or a Maraschino cherry before serving.

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