Introduction: Cocktails have a rich and storied history, and some drinks have truly stood the test of time. The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned are prime examples of such enduring classics. They both have a special place in the hearts of cocktail aficionados, but which one should you choose when you’re in the mood for a sophisticated and timeless beverage?
The Manhattan: A Toast to New York
The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned cocktail is often associated with the bustling streets of New York City. Its origin story is somewhat disputed, but one prevailing theory is that it was first concocted in the late 19th century at the Manhattan Club in New York City. This club was hosting a banquet in honor of a politician named Samuel J. Tilden, and the Manhattan cocktail was created as a tribute to this event.
The classic Manhattan is made with the following ingredients:
Rye whiskey or bourbon
dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry or orange twist for garnish
The Old Fashioned: A Glimpse into the Past
TheManhattan vs Old Fashioned cocktail, as the name suggests, is a throwback to the earliest days of cocktails. It’s believed to be one of the very first cocktails ever created, dating back to the early 19th century. In those days, the term “cocktail” referred to a simple combination of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters.
The classic Old Fashioned is made with the following ingredients:
Bourbon or rye whiskey
dashes Angostura bitters
Orange twist and cocktail cherry for garnish
Manhattan vs. Old Fashioned: The Showdown
Now that we’ve explored the histories and ingredients of these cocktails, let’s delve into the key differences that set them apart.
Manhattan: The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned boasts a robust and complex flavor profile. It’s known for its bold and spicy notes, primarily attributed to the rye whiskey or bourbon. The sweet vermouth adds a layer of complexity, while the bitters provide a subtle bitterness that balances the sweetness.
Old Fashioned: The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned true to its name, is all about simplicity. It highlights the rich and smooth character of the whiskey, with the sugar cube and bitters enhancing its natural flavors. It’s a cocktail for those who appreciate the pure essence of whiskey.
Manhattan: To make a Manhattan, you’ll need to stir the ingredients with ice and strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. It’s typically served “up” (without ice) and garnished with a cherry or an orange twist.
Old Fashioned: The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned is a true embodiment of simplicity. You muddle the sugar cube and bitters in a glass, add whiskey and ice, and give it a gentle stir. It’s traditionally served in the same glass, without straining, and garnished with an orange twist and a cherry.
The Manhattan vs Old Fashioned are both exceptional cocktails in their own right. Your choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference. Do you crave the bold complexity of the Manhattan, or do you appreciate the timeless simplicity of the Old Fashioned? Whichever you choose, these classics are sure to transport you to a bygone era of cocktail craftsmanship.