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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > January 2019 > Manhattan cocktail

Manhattan cocktail

Seeking out the ultimate example of the eponymous drink of the world’s most glamorous island


Ever since the irst Dutch settlers disembarked and toasted the end of their gruelling journey with whatever alcohol was left in the hold, the city’s inhabitants have been taking the edge off a long commute – or a tough day at the trading post – with a stiff drink. Throughout the three-martini steakhouse lunches of the Mad Men era or while planted on a duct-taped stool in one of the city’s legendary scuzzy (and increasingly rare) dives, generations of hard-working, hard-drinking residents have found a haven in happy hour, making bona ide second homes of their favourite watering holes.

No cocktail stands for NYC’s particular character better than the one that shares its name with the city’s most populous borough.

It’s a potent blend of rye whiskey, vermouth and bitters, a simple formula that belies its capacity for complexity and lends itself to endless iterations. While cocktail history abounds with apocryphal origin stories, the record suggests that some of the earliest versions of the Manhattan were poured in the 1870s at a social club of the same name. Since then, the three-ingredient recipe has spawned many variations and cemented its place in the pantheon of classic cocktails. To get a taste for this iconic tipple, I set off in search of the best version the city can offer.

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the January issue… find wintry beauty on a Great Escape to the Czech Republic, going beyond Prague's Old Town in search of less familiar treasures; head out into the hills of eastern Victoria, on the trail of an Australian legend – Ned Kelly; discover a wayward replica of Central Europe in Argentina's Lake District; make your weekend in the Swedish capital a perfect one; experience winter in all its chilly glory with diverse ideas, from Christmas markets to ice-fishing; and much more