One of the true classic cocktails, said to have been created in 1874 by a bartender at New York's Manhattan Club for a fête given by Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston's American mum) in honor of the newly elected governor Samuel J. Tilden. The Manhattan is made with rye whiskey (or other blended whiskey) or bourbon, sweet vermouth and straight up or on the rocks, and garnished with a maraschino cherry. A perfect Manhattan uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, while a dry Manhattan employs only dry vermouth.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.