Food & Drink
The Two Most Popular Whiskey-Based Cocktails You Should Know About
What's the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan cocktail? The best bourbon drinks go head-to-head.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Comments

Dating back to the 1800s, the Old Fashioned and Manhattan continue to be among the most popular whiskey-based cocktails, and both would serve any imbiber well—especially on a crisp fall evening. You really can't go wrong with either, but if you're going to choose a favorite, it helps to understand how they differ.

THE RECIPES:

OLD FASHIONED
Ingredients
- 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar

Instructions
Place the sugar cube or teaspoon of sugar in an Old Fashioned glass. Splash it with three dashes of bitters and muddle together. Add the whiskey, a large ice cube, and stir. Garnish with an orange peel.

MANHATTAN
Ingredients 
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Instructions
Stir the rye, vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

WHICH ONE IS OLDER?

The Old Fashioned, which Esquire calls "basically the OG cocktail," is the winner here. The first reference to it was in a May 13, 1806 edition of a newspaper called the Balance and Columbian Repository in which the paper's editor referred to a "cocktail" (the word's first published reference) as consisting of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar. The "Old Fashioned" name came a while later, in 1881, when a bartender at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky mixed the drink with bourbon, bitters, club soda, muddled sugar, and ice to honor Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who eventually brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.

The Manhattan, meanwhile, was probably created in the mid-19th century. William F. Mulhall, a bartender who mixed drinks at New York’s Hoffman House starting in the early 1880s, wrote: "The Manhattan cocktail was invented by a man named Black, who kept a place ten doors below Houston Street on Broadway in the [eighteen-] sixties—probably the most famous drink in the world in its time."

HOW DO THE INGREDIENTS DIFFER?

An Old Fashioned is made with whiskey (bourbon or rye), bitters, and sugar; a Manhattan is traditionally made with rye whiskey and substitutes sweet vermouth for the sugar. A "Perfect Manhattan" adds yet another twist: halving the sweet vermouth into equal portions of sweet and dry vermouths.

ARE THEY SERVED DIFFERENTLY?

Yes. An Old Fashioned should be prepared and served in its namesake glass, a low tumbler, accompanied (ideally) by a large ice cube. A Manhattan is mixed with ice in a mixing glass and then strained into a cocktail glass.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

WHO DRINKS THEM?

There's probably no more famous proponent of the Old Fashioned than Don Draper. Case in point: the Mad Men scene below in which he prepares two of them.

Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack reportedly preferred the Manhattan.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Sam Dangremond
View Other Articles From Sam Dangremond
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
With renewed purpose, Monchet Olives, the man known as the maker of whimsical fans for Manila's stylish set, revels in a relaxed lifestyle.
 
Share
From the flavor of the cake to who was in the royal wedding party.
 
Share
Over 3,000,000,000 people all over the world tuned in to watch the royal wedding.
 
Share
Meghan and Harry's choice made an inspiring statement about the importance of social justice.
 
Share
It was first produced in 1968 and has been converted to run on electric power.
 
Share
Several of the bride's goddaughters were attendants alongside Princess Charlotte.
 
Share
Doria Ragland traveled to St. George's Chapel with her daughter by car on Saturday morning.
 
Share
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US