Dirty Old Manhattan

Cocktail recipe

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Added on by Jason Hand
Dirty Old Manhattan cocktail

Glass type

Martini_selected Created with Sketch.
Cocktail glass
Cocktail glass

5 ingredients

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


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.


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