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NYC's 5 Best Bars For Manhattans

A classic Manhattan is made with whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Variations on ingredients run the gamut, whether you prefer bourbon, Scotch, rye, Canadian whiskey or even moonshine--and that's before deciding which type of vermouth or bitters work best. Looking for the perfect Manhattan? Check out these standout versions being served at some of NYC's finest cocktail bars. By Selena Ricks-Good.

More: The 5 Best Cocktail Bars In The East Village

Bell Book & Candle
Credit: Book & Candle

Bell, Book & Candle

141 W. 10th St.
New York, NY
(212) 414-2355

More: The 5 Best Cocktail Bars In SoHo

This cozy West Village restaurant is clearly confident about their Manhattan My Way (blended Scotch, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange bitters, grapefruit bitters and orange zest), and they should be--it's well-balanced and smooth. The use of two different vermouths and two different bitters makes this boozy tipple very sip-able.

Kin Shop
Credit: Shop

Kin Shop

469 6th Ave.
New York, NY
(212) 675-4295

Leave it to chef Harold Dieterle's modern Thai restaurant to put an exotic twist on one of the Big Apple's most classic drinks. The Massamanhattan features Old Overholt Rye, Vya Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters and a Massaman-brown sugar syrup. Spicy, sweet and aromatic, it's a perfect choice for the cold winter months.


The Summit Bar

133 Ave. C
New York, NY

This Alphabet City cocktail haunt serves a Manhattan-like cocktail, the Born & Raised, featuring honey bush tea-infused Oak Cross Scotch, Dolin Sweet Vermouth and orange bitters. Try the fresh-made version for $12, or if you're lucky, they might have a batch of the barrel-aged version, which offers stronger flavors, for $16.

Char No 4

Char No. 4

196 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 643-2106

Among its whiskey cocktail menu, Cobble Hill's Char No. 4 offers a Barrel-Aged Manhattan (Old Overholt Rye, Punt e Mas and Fee Bros' bitters) for $14. This silky smooth cocktail pairs perfectly with the whiskey bar's smoked meat-heavy Southern food menu.

Employees Only

Employees Only

510 Hudson St.
New York, NY
(212) 242-3021

Employees Only's master barkeeps are known for putting their own twists on classic recipes. The Manhattan here features Rittenhouse Rye, Italian vermouth, Grand Marnier and dashes of Angostura bitters. The addition of the orange liqueur makes this version a bit sweet, but it's actually comparable to the sweeter style of Manhattans which were served pre-Prohibition.

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