Tropically Influenced Manhattan Cocktail

A refreshing twist on the classic.

My dad taught me the art and science of making a fully flavorful mixed drink. To him, the three keys to a good drink are using fresh ingredients, high quality spirits and lots of ice. I’ve stuck to those keys with consistently excellent results.

Here are a few regarding the drink you see here that I call a Tropical Manhattan.

1. This drink adds a Western Pacific trade winds punch to the taste, feel and comfort of a very classic Manhattan cocktail.

2. Rule of Thumb: For every 2 ounces of combined lemon and orange juice, add 1 tablespoon almond (or orgeat) syrup, 3 ounces bourbon, and 1 ounce sweet (red) vermouth.

3. About lemons: For the best possible drink, use fresh lemons that are heavier in weight and slightly soft to the touch when you push in on the skin with your thumb as they should also be juicier and more flavorful than those that are lighter in weight and rock hard to touch.

4. About ice: Although this may sound counterintuitive, pack a drink like this with ice to maintain its refreshing coolness and avoid diluting the drink flavor.

Preparation Time: about 5 minutes

(for one 6-ounce drink)

Juice of 1/2 Lemon and 1/2 Orange (about 2 ounces total)
1 Tablespoon Almond (or Orgeat) Syrup
3 Ounces Bourbon
1 Ounce Sweet (Red) Vermouth


Citrus Juicer
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Measuring Cup
Cocktail Glass

1. Use a sharp knife to cut one lemon and one orange in half.

2. Squeeze 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange into a measuring cup so that …

… you have about 2 ounces of combined lemon and orange juice.

3. Add 1 tablespoon almond syrup, …

3 ounces bourbon, …

… 1 ounce sweet (red) vermouth, and …

… give the drink a quick stir.

4.Fill a cocktail glass about 2/3s full with ice.

Add enough drink to fill the glass most of the way full, making sure …

… to leave about an inch of free space at the top of the glass to stir the drink comfortably. Then …

… top the glass with ice 

…and serve.


Get more cocktail recipes from Bruce Tretter:

Tom Collins

Whiskey Sour


Images courtesy of the author

About Bruce Tretter

Bruce Tretter helps people feel comfortable making practical, flavorful and quick & easy meals for themselves---even if they’ve never boiled water---through Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book and short video directions. He’s a father of 3, Former Naval Intelligence Officer, current school board member, and avid cyclist.

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