Rye is a fairly strong whiskey (around 100 proof) with a distinctive taste. It fell from grace a long time ago, and only recently did it start to make a comeback. As a result, most bars and restaurants that serve Manhattans use bourbon–or, occasionally, just whiskey. (If you use Scotch, then you no longer have a Manhattan but a Rob Roy.)
There are quite a few ryes on the market, but it’s probably best to use one of the older, more established brands, like Wild Turkey–Wild Turkey Rye is really quite good–and reserve the newer, more artisanal ryes for sipping, in the same way that you really don’t want to use a single-malt Scotch for a Rob Roy. That’s not to say that Wild Turkey Rye isn’t good for sipping, too!
- 2 oz. rye (or bourbon)
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth (also known as red or Italian)
- 5-6 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 maraschino cherry
- Combine rye, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.