Popularized during the second half of the 19th century, the manhattan cocktail’s origin is unclear despite many fantastic tales. Legend has it that the drink was created in 1874 for Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston, to honour presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.
Whether it was first served at the Manhattan Club in New York City or not, one thing is for certain: the cocktail’s significance was such that its predecessor became “old fashioned.”
Proportions have changed many times, but the three key ingredients (whiskey, vermouth and bitters) have stood the test of time. With that in mind, there’s something idyllic about nestling oneself in the comfort of a historic hotel lobby and ordering a well-crafted manhattan. If only the walls could speak.