This cherry Manhattan is a traditional Manhattan recipe with a twist! Pick your rye, whiskey or bourbon and forget Luxardo cherries, try Trader Joe’s Amarena cherries! The perfect cocktail for Father’s Day!
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Why This Recipe Works
- You can pick whatever rye, bourbon, whiskey or mix you want! YOU ARE THE BOSS!
- You don’t have to use vermouth if you don’t have it.
- The most amazing cherries you have ever had. FULL STOP!
What are the best cherries for a Manhattan cocktail?
Ok, first we need to talk maraschino cherries from the grocery store. I have to be honest, not my favorite. Food coloring?
Luxardo cherries are a high end cocktail cherry which I happen to LOVE but they are not cheap my friends. Luxardo maraschino cherries are made from candied sour marasca cherries and steeped in a cherry sugar syrup
Meet, the Amarena Cherry! Truth be told, I can’t afford over $20.00 for bottle of fancy cherries. However, I am so lucky as to live near a Trader Joe’s! Around the holidays, you can find Trader Joe’s Amarena Cherries which I affectionately like to refer to as the poor man’s Luxardo cherries (only arguably even better tasting).
If you are feeling even more adventurous, you can make your own cherries. Check out my super easy recipe for Bourbon Cherries!
Best whiskey for a Manhattan
Rye is the traditional whiskey in a Manhattan. However, you can use bourbon or Canadian whiskey as well. Typically, vermouth is use to balance those flavors. However, since we like throwing caution to the wind, I am just going to say it! I used Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey and I love it with this cherry Manhattan cocktail. Maker’s Mark is sweet and balanced with caramel, vanilla, woody oak and fruit essence.
What is a traditional Manhattan cocktail?
A traditional Manhattan is typically a mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters, orange peel and maraschino cherries. However, unless you are a super amazing cocktail mixologist, I know not everyone keeps sweet vermouth on hand. Also, those red maraschino cherries that you see in supermarkets? Maybe for a Shirley temple (sorry kids)! But not for a sophisticated adult cocktail. This recipe for a cherry Manhattan is about to turn your cocktail world in the right direction.
Ice molds and whiskey glass sets
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- 2 oz rye, whiskey or bourbon (Maker’s Mark)
- 6 drop/dash cherry bitters
- 1-2 luxardo cherries or amarena cherries
- 1/2 tsp+ Extra cherry juice (optional)
- Mix rye, whiskey or bourbon (Maker’s Mark) with cherry bitters.
- Add 1-2 cherries.
- Pour over ice mold or drink straight (no ice).
- If you like more sweet, you can add ½ tsp+ cherry juice.