Sweet Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

(1 vote)
6 Comments
4 minutes
May 20, 2024
Andi GleesonJump to Recipe

If you love maraschino cherries, raise your glass to this Cherry Lover’s Manhattan Cocktail!

This week I am bringing you a cherrytastic Manhattan cocktail recipe. I first tried a Manhattan years ago and I did lot love it because of how strong it was. I don’t usually like purely booze drinks, so it’s not surprising that I wasn’t a fan.

Cherry Lover's Manhattan Cocktail with Maraschino Cherries

Best Manhattan Cocktail Recipe: Sweeter and Lower Alcohol

Recently, I have decided that Manhattans pair well with old-school steak dinners, so I have created my own version that is a little sweeter and goes down more easily. If you prefer the original version, then check out this recipe in Esquire magazine for a more classic Manhattan recipe (and turn away from what you are about to see).

I had a bottle of Luxardo maraschino liqueur in my cabinet from when I made Aviation cocktails a while back, and I thought it would be great to add even more of that cherry flavor I love to this drink. Since that wasn’t quite enough, I also added a couple of spoonfuls of the juice from the jar of cherries. Now, I realize that that “juice” is mostly corn syrup and red dye when it comes to plain ol’ grocery store maraschino cherries, but if you use a homemade or high-quality version, it will be even better. Did you know that grenadine and maraschino cherry juice are the same thing? Either way, you’ll appreciate the additional sweetness the cherry juice brings if you find traditional Manhattans a bit too strong like I do.

What is Maraschino Liqueur?

The most famous and original maraschino liqueur is made by Luxardo. They make theirs by harvesting fresh marasca cherries and infusing them with grain alcohol for up to three years. The liquid is then distilled in copper pot stills and then dilluted with a simple syrup (sugar and water). This makes the liqueur have a lower alcohol content and additional sweetness. The end result is a sweet, cherry infused liqueur with hints of vanilla and orange. It is used in several classic cocktails including the Aviation, Martinez, ‎Hemingway Daiquiri and Last Word. You can also add a little to a seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon for a nice light summer spritz.

Cherry Lover's Manhattan Cocktail

How to Make a Manhattan Cocktail with Maraschino Liqueur

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Cherry Lover's Manhattan #cocktail

Cherry Lover’s Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

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5 from 1 review

You will love this sweeter Manhattan cocktail loaded with maraschino flavor.

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 oz. bourbon whiskey
  • 2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 oz maraschino cherry juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 6 maraschino cherries or to taste

Instructions

  1. Place martini glasses in freezer or fill with ice to chill.
  2. Pour bourbon, sweet vermouth, Luxardo, bitters, and cherry juice into cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake. (That’s right, I said shake. I don’t mind about bruising and cloudiness and the like. I like it super cold and a little diluted. Stir if you prefer.)
  3. Remove ice from chilled glasses or take glasses out of the freezer, and place 3 cherries in bottom of each glass. Pour half of mixture over cherries in each glass. Sip and enjoy, but not too slowly because it tastes best very cold.
  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Cocktail

Do you have your own favorite version of a Manhattan cocktail that’s different than mine? Tell me about it in the comments! I’d love to try it your way too.

 Wondering what to do with the rest of that Luxardo? Make your own maraschino cherries!

Need Martini glasses? Grab these sturdy ones from Amazon!

Libbey 4-Piece Cosmopolitan Cocktail/Martini Glasses, 8 Ounce, Clear
Libbey 4-Piece Cosmopolitan Cocktail/Martini Glasses, 8 Ounce, Clear

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Cherry Lover’s Manhattan Cocktail Recipe – You will love this sweeter Manhattan cocktail loaded with maraschino flavor. – bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, dashes Angostura bitters, maraschino cherry juice, maraschino cherries (or to taste), , Place martini glasses in freezer or fill with ice to chill.; Pour bourbon, sweet vermouth, Luxardo, bitters, and cherry juice into cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake. (That’s right, I said shake. I don’t mind about bruising and cloudiness and the like. I like it super cold and a little diluted. Stir if you prefer.); Remove ice from chilled glasses or take glasses out of the freezer, and place 3 cherries in bottom of each glass. Pour half of mixture over cherries in each glass. Sip and enjoy, but not too slowly because it tastes best very cold.; ; – – Cocktail – Cocktails and Other Drinks – bourbon – cherry – cocktail – Andi Gleeson – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.

6 comments

Cassie
7 months ago

Oh this is a perfect Manhattan for those wanting something a little sweeter thank you!

Charles Cianfrocca
5 years ago

Only difference from the way I make them is the maraschino liqueur. Had not thought of that… The other mods I was already doing. We have Luxardo on the shelf, since we enjoy a good Aviation, so we will try this tonight.

Amber
5 years ago

I added the juice is a couple orange slices. I happened to have blood orange from the holiday citrus present. Delicious!

P. Noonan
6 years ago

I prefer Canadian Whiskey (RYE) – Alberta Premium Dark Horse, with Sweet Vermouth (2:1 ratio) with a splash of the cherry juice and 3 – 4 dashes of bitters and a couple of cocktail cherries on ice.
Recently was in Quebec and was asking for a Manhattan and to add a Maraschino cherry, not realizing there was a Maraschino Liqueur. Something was lost in translation and the Manhattan was made with Maraschino liqueur instead of Sweet Vermouth and was very good. Now I just have to find somewhere to buy the Maraschino Liqueur – it’s not carried in liquor stores in our province.

April
7 years ago

I wondered if any legit personage put cherry juice in their Manhattans like I do. Yay you. :)

kathleen
7 years ago

this was really good — i grew up stealing tastes of my parents’ nightly whiskey sours and as a result developed a taste for bourbon… fast forward through a 25 year marriage and 21 year old triplets and i am discovering bourbon again. since i have an insatiable sweet tooth, the Manhattan has called to me many times. a traditional Manhattan is always enjoyed, but this one was the bomb! i upped the ante a bit since the maraschino cherries i use (ever since i had a Manhattan at Carthay Circle in Disney’s California Adventure) are Luxardos, I used the juice — no SYRUP from those cherries in the drink, and of course 3 of the Luxardo cherries (unlike any maraschino cherry you’ve ever had – and worth the exhorbitant cost). I’m in Manhattan heaven…..

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