Classic: Reverse Manhattan

The classic Manhattan, served on the rocks or straight up, is one of the most famous cocktails of all time.

Countless variations and alterations exist – like our very own Walnut Manhattan, for instance. But one rather surprising take involves reversing the dominant ingredients in the classic recipe – resulting in the aptly named Reverse Manhattan.

Photos by ADV Photography

I came across this alternative form at the excellent Fly Bar and Restaurant in Tampa, Florida. It was the first time I had heard of the term “Reverse” in a cocktail, and being a big Manhattan drinker, I knew I had to try it.



2 oz sweet vermouth (Bonal)
1 oz rye or bourbon
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel or Maraschino cherry

In a mixing glass with ice, add vermouth, rye, and bitters. Stir well and strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with Maraschino cherries or an orange peel.

You might expect it to be sweeter than the classic recipe, and you’d be right, but the Bonal vermouth has a pleasant earthy and floral flavour, so it doesn’t overpower the drink. It pairs beautifully with rye.

I recommended it to a gentleman who sat next to me at the bar and he enjoyed it so much that he gave me a cigar. Win-win!


I was genuinely surprised by how such a small and seemingly obvious twist resulted in a truly tasty and unique flavour, so now it’s time to play mad scientist and reverse-engineer some of my other beloved classic cocktails.


You Might Also Like