Let us have a glance over the basic things about Old fashioned vs Manhattan whiskey, two exquisite drinks to enjoy. Everyone is a fan of great drinks. And you should be looking for a classic way to enjoy your favourite drink. 

If you want to enjoy your moment in the hillside with the person you love, the drink is a necessity. Also, if you are about to enjoy your moment in your room with favourite books and music, get a drink for you.

In this article, we are going to talk about a pair of classic whiskey cocktails that are apparently similar, but exquisitely different. Since the 1800s, these two classic whiskeys have been in the list of the favourite for all. 

If you aren’t experienced with the taste of anyone, then here grab a detailed look at all the differences and learn how to order an old fashioned whiskey like a pro.

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The origin of Old fashioned vs Manhattan Cocktail:

It is said that around the year of 1806 the Old Fashioned, named by Esquire as “basically the OG cocktail,” made its first appearance. 

In the year of 1881, in the hands of Colonel James E, it retained an outstanding taste like a mixed drink consisting of bourbon, bitters, club soda, muddled sugar and ice with an extra zing of some pepper.

And the Manhattan cocktail has its origin in the 1880s. It got its name from the saying that it was born in the Manhattan Club. 

From that early days till now it has been praised for its classy taste and stood proudly among all the days of war, glory, recessions, prohibition, the Great Depression and in this virtual world of modernization. So in Old fashioned vs Manhattan, the Manhattan cocktail is a bit older.

Overview on Old fashioned vs Manhattan:

Main ingredients:

  • Old fashioned is usually made with any of Bourbon or Rye whiskey, bitters, and sugar. And Manhattan is made with Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters and mixed in bourbon whiskey.
  • Old fashioned is usually served in an “Old Fashioned” glass and garnished elegantly with a slice or peel of an orange. Manhattan is presented in a stemmed cocktail or martini glass, decorated with a cocktail cherry.

What’s sweeter Old Fashioned or Manhattan?

The bitter is always the essential taste in case of any cocktail, but Old Fashioned and Manhattan both are also slightly sweetened. The Old Fashioned is traditionally sweetened with a simple sugar cube muddled with some bitter at the down of the glass. 

This little taste of sweetness brings a bit of pleasantness in your drink. Some also like to sweeten their Old Fashioned with a spoon of syrup. Compared with other complex cocktails old fashioned lets the actual flavour of the whiskey shines through nicely in your drink.

The sweetener in Manhattan, on the other hand, is sweet vermouth. It results in two vital things: first, it keeps the drink fairly dry. 

Secondly, the vermouth brings a lot of amazing flavour in your drink. Among Old fashioned vs Manhattan, Manhattan cocktails have much more complex taste. 

The ingredient Sugar in old fashioned is much sweeter than Sweet Vermouth used in Manhattan, so finally old fashioned is sweeter in taste than Manhattan as well.

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Old fashioned and Manhattan Drink Recipe:

It is not always possible to go to a bar for a drink, or sometimes you should treat yourself with an amazing glass of refreshing drink at home. For that, we will provide you with the authentic recipe of these two exquisite drinks Old fashioned vs Manhattan.

Old Fashioned:


  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey


Place the sugar cube right at the centre of an Old Fashioned glass. Add with it a splash of three dashes of bitters and muddle together. Add some whiskey, with a large ice cube, and stir well. Garnish necessarily with an orange peel.

The Manhattan Recipe:


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters


Add and stir all the ingredients rye, vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass.

Stir to chill your drink with a few ice cubes into it. Don’t shake as it makes the drink cloudy and fades the flavour. Finally, Strain and serve by garnishing it with a brandied cherry. Some also like to put a hint of the cherry juice in the cocktail to add some more zing.

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Difference between a Manhattan and a Perfect Manhattan and how do they differ from the Old Fashioned:

Old fashioned vs Manhattan

Some ask for what are the basic differences between a Manhattan and a Perfect Manhattan. Not only the absolute best version, but the gold standard of Manhattans is named as Perfect Manhattan. 

The basic distinction is in the amount of taste and standard of the vermouth. In the case of speciality cocktails, all the minor differences between dry, sweet, and perfect become to measure or differ the basic taste of the drink. 

What type of vermouth you are using, and what quantity of it are all very important matters in measuring the taste of the cocktail?

Vermouth is classified as a fortified wine, that means the level of alcohol in it is very low and is enriched with a variety of flavorful botanicals and herbs. The main ingredient of Manhattans is typically the sweet vermouth. 

Use of the word “sweet” is not that necessary in the name. But the use of “Perfect” in the name of Perfect Manhattan, implies an accurate 50/50 blend of sweet and dry vermouth so that when you taste a Perfect Manhattan, you are going to have the amazing addition of the sweet and dry vermouth in your glass of cocktail.

Apart from this one, there is a number classification in the genre of Manhattan cocktail like – Classic Manhattan, Cuban Manhattan, The Southern Slope (Bourbon Manhattan), The Clint Eastwood, The Metropolitan (Brandy Manhattan).

But the signature ingredient in all kinds of Manhattan is the Sweet Vermouth which is completely replaced by a dollop of sugar in a glass of the Old Fashioned cocktail.

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We have tried to provide you with the best Old Fashioned and Manhattan Drink Recipe to let you cherish your taste bud with the heavenly taste of these two exquisite cocktails. We hope you enjoy it. 

And in the choice of Old fashioned vs Manhattan, both of them win for their own authentic taste. You should try in any nearest bar or in your home. And if you enjoy them, you can also try black Manhattan, a richer version of the Old Fashioned with Demerara syrup.


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