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Try Dry And Sweet Vermouth For A Perfectly Balanced Manhattan Cocktail

Manhattan cocktail in crystal coup glass
Manhattan cocktail in crystal coup glass - Markhatfield/Getty Images

A Manhattan is a classic cocktail for good reason. Typically made with vermouth, rye whiskey, bitters, and a garnish of citrus or cherry, the drink has nailed down its perfect formula. Most Manhattan recipes rely on sweet vermouth, which is a bold rusty red version of the fortified wine that also tends to accompany Negronis. Dry vermouth, however, is just as useful -- and works best when paired alongside its sweeter counterpart.

In fact, a combination of both dry and sweet vermouth can enhance your Manhattan and combine the strengths of both spirits in one glass. If you like your cocktails on the dryer side, the combination may especially appeal to you; dry vermouth keeps the flavors of whiskey at the drink's forefront rather than masked behind any overt sweetness. The touch of sweet vermouth, however, maintains just enough sweetness to counteract any bitterness. The two are the perfect tag-team and work well in any Manhattan.

To maximize this duo's potential, pick up bottles of both sweet and dry vermouth -- but don't let either one have too much of a say. The two should balance one another and the whiskey should still get to shine.

Read more: 13 Liquors Your Home Bar Should Have

Use Equal Parts Dry And Sweet Vermouth

sweet and dry Martini vermouth
sweet and dry Martini vermouth - Picture Post/Getty Images

The ideal ratio of dry to sweet vermouth is one-to-one -- and in lesser amounts than your rye whiskey. Specifically, you'll want to pair about two ounces of whiskey with half an ounce each of both dry and sweet vermouth. From there, just a few dashes of bitters is plenty. Across recipes, the combined amounts of dry and sweet vermouth tend to remain less than the total amount of whiskey, which remains a Manhattan's trademark. Most Manhattans use about two parts whiskey and one part vermouth, and that breakdown doesn't change, even when the nature of the vermouth does.

Of course, if you like your cocktails on the sweeter end -- or want to mask whiskey's intensity -- feel free to adjust your amounts accordingly. Vermouth is just versatile enough to let you play with flavors. For even more options, you can even add bianco vermouth to your drink. The semi-sweet spirit already enhances an El President cocktail, so why not test the limits of your next Manhattan?

Read the original article on Tasting Table.