Dirty Old Manhattan
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Dirty Old Manhattan
Cocktail recipe

Rating

3.79 / 5
I worked in hospitality for nearly 10 years and tried a lot of different cocktails. I had the fortune of being trained by award winning bartender and creator of Aviation ... more I worked in hospitality for nearly 10 years and tried a lot of different cocktails. I had the fortune of being trained by award winning bartender and creator of Aviation Gin, Ryan Magarian. As the “mixology” craze became a thing I noticed that many of the classic cocktails I was trained on were becoming a modern staple. Old Fashioneds with unique bitters and the large block of ice, and various Negronis and Juleps, were becoming increasingly popular again.

My palate became more refined as I got older and whisky drinks started to become more of a go-to for me. I found myself bouncing between Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, depending on the strength or flavour profile I was interested in at the time. I started mixing at home and making Old Fashioneds with different rye whiskys and different amounts of sugar and dilutions. Meanwhile I was having my girlfriend taste each one of them to provide a softer opinion with a more pedestrian palate. After I perfected the Old Fashioned I switched back to the Manhattan as I longed for the vermouth and cherry flavours again. My girlfriend, however, hated the drink. It was too strong and not sweet enough for her. Even with an increased amount of vermouth the drink was too strong. And since I enjoyed it being served ‘up’ there was no continuous dilution to slowly soften it.

I used to have to make an Old Fashioned for my girlfriend and a Manhattan for me separately. I thought that there needed to be a way to get the orange zest and sweetness out of the Old Fashioned and combine it with the vermouth and cherry of a Manhattan, therefore satisfying both palates at the same time. I present to you the Dirty Old Manhattan.

“Dirty” because it involves the orange of an Old Fashioned as well as the cherry juice that is usually a ghost of a flavour from the cherry at the bottom of a Manhattan. These two elements combined add the sweetness of the drink and provide the “dirty” element, similar to the olive juice in a martini. “Old” because it’s still partly an Old Fashioned with the accompaniment of the orange bitters and orange zest.

Enjoy this modern take on a combination of these iconic classic cocktails ~ Jason Hand
Check out all our FAQ's on this cocktail
Base ingredient
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Rye Whiskey
Garnish
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Cocktail cherry, orange
Alcohol content
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26.77% | 2.17 units *

Method
How to make a Dirty Old Manhattan

Serves 1 · Takes 3 minutes
Pour the rye whisky into a cocktail shaker
Combine with the fresh orange juice, Antica vermouth, cherry juice, and bitters
Fill with ice and shake vigorously for about six seconds
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Take an orange rind and spritz a good amount of orange perfume around the rim of the glass
Garnish with the orange rind and a cherry, and serve
~ For the whisky, I recommend Bulleit, Knob Creek, Templeton, or Whistle Pig (if affordable). For bitters I recommend Regans’ orange bitters. ~

Learn more about some of the mixology terms used in this cocktail

·  Bitters  ·  Shake  ·  Strain  ·  Rim  ·  Garnish  · 

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FAQ's

PREPARATION_TECHNIQUES

Why is the Dirty Old Manhattan cocktail shaken and not stirred?

The Dirty Old Manhattan cocktail is shaken instead of stirred to achieve a well-chilled texture and to ensure that the diverse ingredients, particularly the cherry and orange juices, are thoroughly mixed. Shaking introduces more dilution and aeration, giving the drink a slightly frothy consistency which enhances its taste and presentation.

INGREDIENT_SUBSTITUTIONS

Can I use a different type of whiskey instead of rye in the Dirty Old Manhattan?

Yes, you can use a different type of whiskey for the Dirty Old Manhattan if you prefer. Bourbon is a common substitute, offering a sweeter and fuller-bodied flavor compared to the spicy and fruity notes of rye whiskey. However, keep in mind that substituting the whiskey type will slightly alter the drink's traditional taste profile.

GARNISHING_TIPS

What are some garnishing ideas for the Dirty Old Manhattan?

For garnishing the Dirty Old Manhattan, consider using a twist of orange peel or a maraschino cherry to enhance the citrus and cherry notes in the drink. You could also try a thin slice of orange or a couple of fresh cherries on a skewer for a more visually striking presentation. These garnishes add a touch of elegance and can help balance the drink's flavors.

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