The White Manhattan Recipe

Photograph: Paul Clarke

Every spirit seems to have its fleeting moment, and for white whiskey (aka white dog, the form whiskey takes before it goes into the barrel for aging), it seemed like 2010 was gonna be it. But as I wrote on Wednesday, Heaven Hill Distillery—one of the big guns in American whiskey—just released uncut, unaged versions of their rye and one of their bourbon recipes, which could prolong white dog's day in the sun.

While tasting new-make whiskey can be an educational exercise, demonstrating as it does what bourbon or rye tastes like before it spends several years in a charred oak barrel, white whiskey has also made its way into a few cocktails where its character can be appreciated on its own merits. Here's the best one I've had so far: the White Manhattan.

Created by San Francisco bartender and globe-trotting whiskey fiend Neyah White, the White Manhattan takes one of the 19th century models of a Manhattan—whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and a trace of liqueur just because—and tweaks it to accommodate the bright, malty flavor of new-make whiskey. In lieu of a Manhattan's standard sweet vermouth, which is a dusky red, the White Manhattan utilizes lighter-colored though still gently sweet blanc vermouth; and for added sweetness, as well as an herbaceous richness, the drink is laced with the French herbal liqueur Benedictine.

Light in character yet full-flavored and complex, the White Manhattan is a great way to give white dog a mixological workout.

Recipe Details

The White Manhattan Recipe

Active 1 min
Total 1 mins
Serves 1 serving


  • 1 1/2 ounces white whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce blanc vermouth (Dolin preferred)

  • 1/2 ounce Benedictine

  • 3 dashes orange bitters


  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Special Equipment

Mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
183 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 20mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)