Skip to main content

Steak and a Manhattan: A Match Made in Heaven

Porter-House
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Alone, a steak—cooked just right (that is, nothing over medium rare) with just a little salt and pepper—is the perfect meal. You don’t need the salad bar for an extra $3.99 or the sides. Those are just frivolous distractions from the centerpiece. Alone, too, you can’t get much better than a Manhattan when it comes to cocktails. It’s a classic. Booze-forward, yet round, it’s a sipper that is as great as the city its named after. This is why, together, these two items make the perfect pairing.

In order to explain the steak and a Manhattan pairing some more, we asked Beverage Director Brad Nugent and Michael Lomonaco, Chef and Partner of Porter House Bar and Grill in New York for their thoughts on the matter.

Porter-House
Photo Courtesy of Porter House Bar and Grill Image used with permission by copyright holder

First, let’s start with the drink.

The Classic Manhattan

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • .75 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3-4 dashes angostura bitters

Method: Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry. 

This drink, Lomonaco says, is “rich and brawny, with a shade of sweetness and a bite of quality bitters. This is the American Classic.” When it comes to which rye, Lomonaco says he usually goes with Michter’s. Nugent takes a little different approach to the Manhattan, favoring a two-to-one ratio (whiskey to vermouth), and he favors using Crown Royal (and Carpano Antica Formula for vermouth).

Either way, the important thing to remember is that you stir the drink, you do not shake it. This keeps the alcohol from becoming too diluted, leaving you with the full flavors you need (such as the spicy notes you’ll get from the rye) to stand up to the steak that is to come.

Speaking of the steak, you can go a number of different ways when it comes to the type of cut you are looking for. For Lomonaco, a dry-aged New York Strip steak can’t be beat when pairing it with a Manhattan. You’re going to get full beef flavor, he says, and that will complement the sweetness of the drink.

Porter House
Photo Courtesy of Porter House Bar and Grill Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nugent, on the other hand, favors a Cowboy Ribeye, as they have at Porter House Bar & Grill. The rye, he says, “helps cut the fattiness of the ribeye and leaves the palate clean and ready for another bite.”

Why wouldn’t you want a drink that goes down easy (too easy, sometimes) and also helps you get ready for the next bite of a delicious steak?

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
This is how to make the perfect dirty martini
Making a flavorful dirty martini is surprisingly easy
Dirty Martini

In the pantheon of classic cocktails, there are few more beloved than the Martini. Sure, the Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Manhattan get a lot of love, but only the Martini is the fictional secret agent James Bond’s favorite cocktail.

Although he preferred his shaken, most bartenders will tell you that to make a Martini is better when stirred. The classic Martini is made with gin, vermouth, and an olive or lemon peel garnish. Some drinkers mistakenly believe the cocktail is made with vodka, but that would technically make it a “Vodka Martini” as opposed to a classic Martini.
A murky history

Read more
Upgrade your next barbecue with elk, the healthy red meat you should be eating
First Light Farms is raising high-quality pasture-raised elk deliverable to your front door.
cooked elk with cup

First Light Farms elk backstrap. Marilynne Bell / First Light Farms

If you're looking for a red meat alternative to beef that's delicious and packed with nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, protein-packed elk might be the answer. A great place to get pasture-raised elk delivered is First Light Farms. This New Zealand-based company raises 100% grass-fed wagyu, venison, and, most recently, elk, all deliverable to your front door. First Light Farms sent us several of their items to try, and we interviewed them to learn all about this must-try red meat.

Read more
These are the wine regions in jeopardy due to climate change, study says
How climate change is affecting the wine world
A vineyard in the Russian River Valley between Guerneville and Healdsburg, California.

Photo by Andrew Davey Photo by Andrew Davey / Andrew Davey

Climate change is altering every aspect of the world we live in, and that's especially the case for agriculture. The wine industry continues to adapt, from making English sparkling wine to treating smoke impact from increased wildfires.

Read more