Holiday Manhattan

By • December 11, 2012 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: We recently had dinner at the home of some friends. I asked if I could bring anything, and my friend, who had heard that I enjoyed making cocktails, wondered if I had any fun Christmas cocktails up my sleeve. Although I have never had a classic Manhattan -- I’m a dark spirit late bloomer and usually drink it neat -- I love bourbon and this is what I came up with. Like any good Manhattan, as written it is a little boozy, but can be mellowed out with the addition of ice cubes in your glass and/or topped with club soda It is lovely at the end of a long day. gingerroot

Food52 Review: I thought this was a yummy and surprising twist on a Manhattan. Both my husband and I really enjoyed it. You don't usually see bourbon and dry vermouth together, but the sweet tang of the pomegranate molasses and the bitters helped to marry bourbon's sweet oak with the more vegetal vermouth flavors (I used Bulleit Bourbon and Dolin Dry) making for a complex cocktail that was still easy drinking.fiveandspice

Serves 1

  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate arils (and any juice that may have accumulated when removing them)
  • 2 ounces good bourbon
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 3 drops Bittercube Jamaican #1 bitters
  • Ice
  • twist of lemon
  • club soda (optional)
  1. Muddle pomegranate arils in a shaker. This is mostly for color.
  2. Add bourbon, dry vermouth, pomegranate molasses, and bitters. Throw in a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously until shaker is cold and frosty.
  3. Strain into your glass of choice, add lemon twist (and ice and/or club soda, if desired), and enjoy. Repeat.
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Comments (9) Questions (0)


18 days ago bhjulian

Did I miss the part where on where to get the pomegranate molasses? I love manhattans but I've never had a dry one. Can't wait to try this; at least once I've found out about the molasses:)


18 days ago gingerroot

Hi bhjulian, I've found pomegranate molasses at an Indian grocery, a local natural foods store, as well as our Whole Foods here in Honolulu. It's the molasses that provides the tart contrasting flavor. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you give this a try.


18 days ago bhjulian

Thanks ginger root! There's a Whole Foods not far from me. My grandmother and mother drank manhattans; my grandmother said they were appropriate for a lady :) I'll let you know what I think.


18 days ago [email protected]

This is essentially a dry manhattan with the addition of the pomegranate arils. It's amazing to me that whoever wrote the copy did not know this. While I understand that everything old must be made new again (and again, and again), you'd do a better service to your readers by not making this sound like something so far out of the norm. Dry manhattans are not a new drink. Nor is the perfect Manhattan, which includes equal parts sweet and dry vermouth and is my personal favorite. Furthermore, the correct garnish for a dry Manhattan would be an olive. While the photo looks very inviting and maybe that's all that's important, even using the lemon wedges (lemon twists are appropriate garnish for perfect Manhattans) for decoration would likely still impart more lemon flavor in the drink that would be welcome since the lemon flavor comes mainly from the oils in the rind.


22 days ago inpatskitchen

What a wonderful cocktail! Bourbon is a family favorite!


22 days ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Pat! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.