The Manhattan is an iconic whiskey cocktail with origins from New York city back in the 1880's. The exact origin has numerous stories, but there is nothing cloudy about this classic whiskey drink. Made with three ingredients: whiskey, vermouth, and bitters, the Manhattan is one of five cocktails named after a New York city borough.
This cocktail has countless variations with some using bourbon instead of rye and different combinations of both sweet and dry vermouth. Everyone has their preference but the IWSA recommends the classic recipe and objective of the drink: to balance the rye "spice" with "sweet" vermouth, complemented with bitters.
In the last half of the 19th century, 80% of New York city laborers were Irish. The famine in Ireland drove Irish immigrants to America seeking a better life. Consequently, they were instrumental in building the tunnels, bridges, and buildings that became the New York city we know today. The Irish Built Manhattan is named in honor of them.
The original Manhattan cocktail was made with American rye. The Irish Built Manhattan is unique in using the first and only 100% Irish rye whiskey from Powers. This version was first made with the help of Swift Hibernian Lounge in the East Village NoHo section of lower Manhattan. You can watch the making of the cocktail from bar manager Erin Smyth below.
Erin Smyth Bar Manager, Swift Hibernian Lounge - The Irish Built Manhattan with Powers Irish Rye