Yes, the classic Manhattan cocktail was invented in Manhattan, New York, at the Manhattan Club, but the Maker’s Mark Manhattan recipe comes directly from Kentucky.
Where the Manhattan was born
The urban myth is the 170-year-recipe for the perfect Manhattan cocktail was born at the the Manhattan Club in New York City in the 1870s. Fun fact is that it was supposed to have been invented for Winston Churchill’s mother, the American socialite Jennie Jerome.
This might all be false but it can be seen in one of the first cocktail recipes books, The Flowing Bowl by bartender William Schmidt, published in 1891. Whenever and wherever, the Manhattan has become one of the most popular cocktails of all time.
What is Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Maker’s Mark bourbon is an original handmade premium bourbon, made with a mash bill of various grain combinations, including corn, of course, soft red winter wheat, and malted barley. You can visit the distillery which has been designated as a national historic landmark distillery.
Bill Samuels may have created the recipe of the bourbon itself in the 1950’s, but it was the marketing brilliance of Bill’s wife, Margie Samuels, that put Maker’s Mark on the map. She had downright revolutionary ideas for her time and thought of everything from the name, to the Maker’s Mark bottle design, to the iconic red-wax topper.
This bottling and dipping line is in its own building where a dedicated team takes the first bottle and dips it once and you can see as the red wax drips and is left to create the signature top.
Each and every label of Maker’s Mark is individually stamped using a hand-press label maker, using original machine that is as old as the brand itself. The signature S Mark IV is a star for the farm they used to live in, the S for Samuels and the IV for Bill being a fourth-generation distiller. The Master Distiller today is Greg Davis.
The hot Kentucky summers are perfect for barrel condition for storing the 500-pound barrels of Maker’s Mark. They are the only major bourbon house that hand rotates the barrels. From the top of the rickhouse to the bottom, the smell is divine and has your taste buds eager for that first sip.
The different flavoring grains give it tons of flavor, make for a premium taste and an easy finish!
What is Maker’s 46
According to David Wondrich, “for a real Manhattan, you need rye whiskey.” For this recipe, we’ll be bending the rules a bit and using Marker’s Mark 46.
We’ll be using Maker’s 46 for this Manhattan recipe. It was the first bourbon from Maker’s Mark special “wood-finishing series.” They take Maker’s Mark and then insert 10 seared virgin French oak staves into the barrel and let it finish for nine weeks. This would be even revolutionary today.
This made Maker’s 46 the first new expression to be created since Maker’s Mark and went into production in 1953. The outcome is a bourbon that is bolder and more complex – perfect for a Manhattan!
Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!
What is the Manhattan
The original Manhattan recipe start with the 4 simple ingredients: rye or bourbon, plus you also need sweet vermouth, a few dashes of angostura bitters and, the perfect last ingredient, a maraschino cherry.
I am not a snob about a maraschino cherry in my cocktail, but feel free to use the original Luxardo and also the Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries.
What tools you need to make the Maker’s Mark Manhattan
You won’t be needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a mixing glass, barspoon, strainer, and an Old Fashioned glass (or rocks glass.), chilled cocktail glass or martini glass. Just make sure you use fresh ice cubes, because it’s an ingredient too!
Top Tip(ple)🍸: You can find all the tools you need and how to use them in my guide to choosing the best home bar tools!
It’s a simple cocktail, but one of the great cocktails of all time, so don’t be intimidated.
Where to find more bourbon recipes
Here are a few of my favorites:
Where to find the best Maker’s Mark Manhattans in the world
You can find great Manhattans at pretty much any bar in Louisville or the state of Kentucky. If you are heading to KY, then don’t miss enjoying the Maker’s Make Distillery Tour.
Where to find ingredients for the Manhattan
You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or Drizly (Get $5 Off Your Order of $20+ using code ALUSHLIFE5) in the USA!
Here is the recipe!
Maker's 46 Manhattan
- 2 parts Maker's 46 Bourbon
- 1 part sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- Cherry for garnish
- Combine ingredients over ice in a mixing glass
- Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass neat or on the rocks
- Garnish with a cherry
Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime! As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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3 thoughts on “How to Make the Maker’s Mark Manhattan”
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Good recipe! Have made Manhattans with MAKER’S (regular), Makers’s 46 and Cask Strength! All are great. Should we lobby the Derby to change from the other guys to MAKER’S as the official bourbon for Mint Julips?
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