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The Usual

9 Ways to Make a Manhattan

A classic Manhattan. © Sebastian Gollings

After a night on the line, most chefs have a go-to drink, from cheap beer to a house bartender’s expert cocktail. Here, star chefs reveal their favorite drinks.

According to Eleven Madison Park chef and co-owner Daniel Humm, the hands down best house cocktail is a Manhattan. “There are so many variations on it so there’s something for everyone,” he says, “and they’re easy to make!” Put Humm’s opinion to the test with these nine Manhattan recipes and find your own signature Manhattan style.

1. Classic Manhattan
The traditional version of the cocktail is made with whiskey (usually rye), sweet vermouth and bitters.

2. Wry Manhattan 
This slightly sweeter take replaces the vermouth with grenadine, and includes Southern Comfort along with the usual rye.

3. Aged White Manhattan 
Aging this white Manhattan in an oak barrel for a month develops its smooth, deep flavor.

4. Manhattan Ice Cream Float 
For a nostalgic dessert with an adult twist, blend vanilla ice cream with bourbon, scoop into good cherry soda and top with whipped cream blended with vermouth.

5. Cuban Manhattan 
Swap in rum for whiskey to make this tropical take on the classic cocktail.

6. The Manhattan Exposition 
This cocktail is made with 19th-century components like sloe gin and cardamom-flavored Boker’s bitters.

7. Spanish Manhattan
Pedro Ximenez sherry gives this cocktail a great raisiny, coffeelike aroma.

8. Walnut Manhattan
This elegant after-dinner cocktail is made with bourbon, coffee liqueur and walnut liqueur.

9. Añejo Manhattan 
Garnish this aged tequila–based cocktail with the traditional cherry, or take things to the next level with a tequila–marinated dried cherry wrapped in a mole-spiced sausage slice.

Related: Chefs' Favorite Cocktails
23 Classic Cocktails
Best Cocktail Bars in the US

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