Both drinks are made with whiskey, bitters, and sugar, and are served in distinctive glasses. While these two cocktails share some similarities, there are also some key differences that set them apart.
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that dates back to the late 1800s. It is typically made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a splash of water. The drink is served in a low tumbler glass and garnished with a twist of orange peel and a maraschino cherry. The Old Fashioned is known for its strong, bold flavor and is often considered a “man’s drink.”
The Manhattan is a slightly more sophisticated cocktail that is typically made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. The drink is served in a stemmed cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry. The Manhattan is known for its smooth, complex flavor and is often considered a more refined drink than the Old Fashioned. While both cocktails are delicious, the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference.
The History of Old Fashioned and Manhattan
The Old Fashioned and Manhattan are two of the most iconic cocktails in American history. Both of these drinks have been around for over a century and have been enjoyed by countless people around the world.
The Old Fashioned is believed to have originated in the late 1800s, and it was first mentioned in print in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide in 1862. This classic cocktail is made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water. The original recipe called for the use of a lump of sugar, but over time, bartenders began to use simple syrup instead.
The Manhattan is believed to have been created in the late 1800s or early 1900s. It is said to have been invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City, and it quickly became a favorite among the city’s elite. The cocktail is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
Both of these drinks have undergone changes over the years, with bartenders experimenting with different types of whiskey, bitters, and sweeteners. However, the basic recipe for each cocktail has remained largely unchanged.
It is interesting to note that the Old Fashioned and Manhattan have different origins, but they share some similarities. Both are made with whiskey and bitters, and they are both served in a rocks glass. However, the Manhattan is a bit sweeter than the Old Fashioned, thanks to the addition of sweet vermouth.
Ingredients and Preparation
When it comes to the classic cocktails, the Manhattan and Old Fashioned have been around for over a century and are still popular to this day.
Both cocktails are made with whiskey, but the difference lies in the ingredients and preparation.
The Old Fashioned is a simple cocktail that requires only a few ingredients, but it’s all about the preparation. Traditionally, a sugar cube is muddled with a few dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of soda water in a mixing glass. Then, a single large ice cube is added, and two ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey are poured over it. Finally, the drink is garnished with a twist of orange peel and a cherry.
The Manhattan cocktail is a bit more complex than the Old Fashioned and requires a few more ingredients. It’s made by combining two ounces of rye whiskey, one ounce of sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters in a mixing glass with ice. The mixture is stirred until it’s chilled and strained into a chilled martini glass. Finally, the drink is garnished with a cherry.
Like the Old Fashioned, there are variations of the Manhattan cocktail that use different types of whiskey, vermouth, or bitters. Some recipes call for a splash of soda water, while others use dry vermouth or fortified wine like Amer Picon.
The Differences Between Old Fashioned and Manhattan
The Old Fashioned and Manhattan are two classic whiskey-based cocktails that are often compared and confused with each other.
While both drinks share some similarities, they have distinct differences that set them apart.
One of the most significant differences between the Old Fashioned and Manhattan is the glassware used to serve them. The Old Fashioned is typically served in a low, heavy-bottomed glass known as an “Old Fashioned glass” or “rocks glass.” In contrast, the Manhattan is usually served in a stemmed glass called a “cocktail glass” or “coupe.
The Old Fashioned and Manhattan are also prepared differently. An Old Fashioned is made by muddling sugar, bitters, and a splash of water in the bottom of a glass before adding ice and whiskey. The drink is then stirred and garnished with a twist of citrus rind and a maraschino cherry. On the other hand, a Manhattan is made by stirring whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters with ice before straining the mixture into a chilled glass and garnishing it with a cherry.
Both cocktails have variations that can alter their taste and complexity. For example, the Perfect Manhattan uses both sweet and dry vermouth, while a Black Manhattan includes the addition of Amaro. The Old Fashioned also has variations, such as the Brandy Old Fashioned and Rum Old Fashioned.
Another difference between the two drinks is how they are served. The Old Fashioned is traditionally served “on the rocks” with ice cubes, while a Manhattan is served “up” in a chilled glass without ice.
The ratios of ingredients in each cocktail also differ. The Old Fashioned typically has a higher ratio of whiskey to other ingredients, while the Manhattan has a higher ratio of vermouth to whiskey.
Both cocktails are relatively low in calories, with an Old Fashioned containing approximately 154 calories and a Manhattan containing around 130 calories.
Variations and Personal Preferences
When it comes to the Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails, there are many variations and personal preferences to consider. Some people prefer a sweeter or more aromatic drink, while others enjoy a drier and more straightforward cocktail.
One popular variation of the Old Fashioned is the Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned, which uses Woodford Reserve bourbon and a sugar cube muddled with bitters and orange peel. This recipe creates a rich and complex cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a warm evening.
Another variation to consider is the Brooklyn cocktail, which is a twist on the Manhattan. This drink uses dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur instead of sugar. The result is a drier and more herbal cocktail that is perfect for those who prefer a less sweet drink.
Personal preference also plays a big role in the choice between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. Some people prefer the earthy and spiced notes of the Manhattan, while others enjoy the elegant simplicity of the Old Fashioned.
Aromas also play a big role in the enjoyment of these cocktails. The Old Fashioned is known for its shine and the aroma of its orange peel garnish, while the Manhattan is known for its rich and earthy aroma of sweet vermouth.
Ultimately, the choice between an Old Fashioned and Manhattan comes down to personal preference. Whether you prefer a sweeter or drier cocktail, or a more complex or straightforward drink, there is a variation of these classic cocktails that is perfect for you.