The Best Manhattans in Manhattan

Around Town” is a new series of posts written by RealDirect Neighborhood Guides who wish to share the best places, sights, flavors and experiences NYC has to offer.

You’re thirsty. Not the kind of thirst you feel after jogging five miles, and certainly not the thirst you have after a hot summer day on the porch, rocking on grandpa’s chair. After all, you can’t live by hydration alone. You have other needs.


Not cosmopolitans. Not screwdrivers. Not spritzers. Why mask it? Hell no—embrace it! And if there was one cocktail in the world that thumps on its chest and says, “I am booze—hear me roar!” it has to be the Manhattan who, like a good friend, is readily available, always dependable, and let’s face it: makes you feel good about yourself.

The original Manhattan was thought to have originated in—you guessed it—Manhattan at the (you guessed it again) Manhattan club in the late 1800’s. Whilst the exact origins have been disputed, one thing is certain: the recipe has changed over the decades. The proportion of vermouth is lower, perhaps due to the availability of high-grade whiskey, while orange Curacao has disappeared from most recipes altogether. But enough! What is there to be gained from bickering about the cause of yesteryear’s hangovers? Rather, we owe it to ourselves to find the best Manhattan in Manhattan, and we went to Saxon and Parole, the latest restaurant conceived by the geniuses that brought us Public, to find exactly where cocktail evolution has taken us.

S & P’s Manhattan is now made with their house whiskey and served on draft. Served on draft! How cool it that? And with presentation like this, how could their Manhattans be anything other than a smash hit?

Okay, we’ve seen Manhattans served along side an iced decanter before. Pegu Club has been doing it for years. But with S & P you don’t even have to ask the bartender for your preferred garnish—both a lemon twist and a speared shish kabob of cherries are wedged appealingly in the ice that cools the decanter. Is this the best Manhattan in Manhattan? To decide, you’ll have to visit Igor at Macao, Shane at Randolph’s, and—if you have a fetish for Euro-millionaire watching—Jorge at Cipriani’s. We’ve made our conclusion,but it’s a secret. After all, who are we to spoil your fun?

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2 Responses to “The Best Manhattans in Manhattan”

  1. Hello Leia,

    How do you land these great gigs?
    Maybe you can share your conclusion with us.
    If you can obtain the recipe for the best Manhattan we can try to reproduce it and share it with some of our very special friends – like Kinga!

    Happy Manhattaning!

    Barry and Marilyn

  2. Paul and Cheryl says:

    Hi Leia

    It is great to benefit from your drinking experience (obviously led astray by others).

    Looking forward to your advice on where we should go for the best martinis!!!


    Paul and Cheryl