Holiday Manhattan

December 11, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 1
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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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  • Susan Soto
    Susan Soto
  • inpatskitchen
  • gingerroot
  • Debi Havner
    Debi Havner

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

14 Reviews

Debi H. December 30, 2014
I would love to know the source for the glasses used for the Holiday Manhattan!
Dave December 29, 2014
Would love to know the source for the glasses used for the Holiday Manhattan
radryan03 December 21, 2014
Why not Rye? Rye is what makes a Manhattan a Manhattan.
Susan S. December 7, 2014
Thank god it's called a holiday manhattan. Looks interesting
[email protected] November 11, 2014
Just fyi, pomegranate molasses would not be part of a dry Manhattan; it's part of their twist on it. That said, I'd like to know where to get it, too.
bhjulian November 11, 2014
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:)
gingerroot November 11, 2014
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.
bhjulian November 11, 2014
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.
[email protected] November 10, 2014
Yes, gingerroot, I was a bartender for many, many years.
[email protected] November 10, 2014
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.
gingerroot November 10, 2014
Thanks for your comment, [email protected]! Sounds like you know your way around a Manhattan. Cheers!
PS007 January 10, 2015
Did you happen to see there's pomegranate molasses in the drink which radically changes the flavor? (Not to mention Jamaican #1 bitters which have an allspice profile.)
To say it's just a dry manhattan with a garnish of arils is flat out wrong.
inpatskitchen November 6, 2014
What a wonderful cocktail! Bourbon is a family favorite!
gingerroot November 7, 2014
Thanks so much, Pat! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.