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Everyone loves a Manhattan — but you should try it with rum

Try a Manhattan with a twist

Manhattan
Drew Beamer / Unsplash

When it comes to classic cocktails, few are more iconic than the Manhattan. Popular since the 1800s, the combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters has been delighting whiskey enthusiasts for decades and has seen a real resurgence in recent years as whiskey mania has swept the cocktail scene.

But like all good cocktails, the Manhattan is open to variations — from using different types of vermouth to adding a dash of absinthe, there are plenty of ways to change up this classic stirred drink. However, one option that might sound sacrilegious to some but is well worth a try is ditching the whiskey all together, and replacing it with rum instead.

How to make a Rum Manhattan

The rum Manhattan combines 2 ounces of dark rum with 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, which is stirred together over ice. You can add a dash of either Angostura or orange bitters as you prefer, and strain into a cocktail glass before garnishing with either an orange twist or the traditional cherry.

As there’s plenty of sweetness from the sweet vermouth, you should stay away from sweet spiced rums for this and use a classic dark rum like Havana Club 7 Year Old instead. But feel free to play around with whatever rums you have in your collection, including doing half and half with white and dark rums as well.

Outside of Tiki circles, rum tends to get a bit of a bad rap. But there’s enormous variety and range to be explored in this spirit, and a rum Manhattan is a great way to experience the flavors of a rum without burying it under too many other ingredients. Give this cocktail a try, and you might just be converted.

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Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
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