Smoked Manhattan recipe

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How to make a Smoked Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail is a revered classic, enjoyed by many for its straightforward elegance.

But what if you could give it a mysterious twist that leaves a lasting impression? Enter the Smoked Manhattan.

This cocktail combines the quintessential elements of a traditional Manhattan with the dramatic allure of smoke, enveloping your senses in a symphony of flavors and aromas.

Here's how to make this extraordinary drink, step by step.

Smoked Manhtattan ingredients

For the Smoked Manhattan:

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Cherry and orange peel for garnish

For the Smoke:

  • Wood chips (oak or cherry for a milder smoke, mesquite or hickory for a more potent smoky aroma)
  • A smoking gun or a handheld smoker
  • A glass cloche or large glass to capture smoke (optional)


  • Mixing glass
  • Stirrer or bar spoon
  • Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Old-fashioned glass
  • Smoking gun or handheld smoker
  • Lighter or blowtorch
  • Glass cloche (optional)


Step 1: Set Up your smoking apparatus

If you’re using a smoking gun, place your wood chips in the smoking chamber and get it ready according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If using a DIY handheld smoker, place wood chips in a heatproof dish and prepare a heat source like a lighter or blowtorch.

Step 2: Create the smoke

Light the wood chips with your heat source until they start smoldering.

If using a smoking gun, turn it on so that the smoke starts flowing. If you're using a DIY setup, cover the smoldering chips loosely with aluminum foil and poke holes to guide the smoke.

Step 3: Capture the smoke

Place an old-fashioned glass upside down over the source of the smoke, capturing it inside the glass.

Alternatively, you can use a glass cloche to trap the smoke. Allow the smoke to fill the glass for about a minute to infuse it with the smoky aroma. Set aside.

Step 4: Mix the iocktail Ingredients

In a mixing glass, combine the rye whiskey (or bourbon), sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

Fill the mixing glass with ice. With a stirrer or bar spoon, stir the mixture gently for about 30 seconds. The aim is to chill the cocktail while maintaining its clarity.

Step 5: Prepare the garnish

While the cocktail is chilling, prepare your garnish.

Twist an orange peel to release its oils and rub it around the rim of the smoked old-fashioned glass. Place a cherry at the bottom of the glass.

Step 6: Strain the cocktail

Take the strained glass filled with captured smoke and quickly but carefully strain the stirred cocktail ingredients into it.

The liquid will mix with the smoke, adding another layer of flavor.

Step 7: Serve and savor

Your Smoked Manhattan is now ready. Serve immediately to appreciate the fresh smokiness complementing the classic Manhattan flavors.

Smoked Manhattan pro tips:

  1. Type of Wood: The wood chips you choose will drastically affect the cocktail's flavor profile. Experiment to find what you prefer.

  2. Ice Quality: Use high-quality ice to ensure that the drink doesn't get diluted quickly, compromising the flavors.

  3. Quality of Spirits: Since a Manhattan has few ingredients, the quality of whiskey and vermouth will make or break your cocktail. Choose well-aged, flavorful spirits.

  4. Adjust to Taste: Feel free to adjust the ratios of vermouth or bitters to better suit your palate.

Final thoughts...

The Smoked Manhattan is more than just a cocktail; it's an experience. The smoky aroma beckons your senses, drawing you in, while the timeless blend of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters dances on your palate.

It's a marriage of tradition and modernity, making it a perfect choice for those seeking to elevate their cocktail game.

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