Cocktail and bottles of liquor on a bar counter.

Bartender Jen Warren of Station House Café in Point Reyes Station gives us the Insider scoop on making a killer Manhattan.

Icon of cocktail glass.
Like most classic cocktails, the Manhattan is made with only a few ingredients—the quality and nuances of those ingredients play a big part in what kind of cocktail you end up with.

Rye Bourbon Whisky

The rye-forward Redwood Empire whisky, distilled in a former apple processing plant in neighboring Sonoma County, adds subtle spicy notes, and an indulgent vanilla-caramel finish.

 Sweet Vermouth

Using a well-curated sweet vermouth makes for a nicely balanced bittersweet Manhattan. Vya’s blend of orange muscat, Tinta Roriz and dry white wine, infused in 17 herbs and spices, is the perfect pairing with spicy rye whisky.

“The inspiration for Vya Sweet was the enjoyment I remembered drinking sweet vermouth on the rocks in the sidewalk cafes in Marseilles back in the 1970s.”

Andy Quady — Quady Winery

Pairing cocktails with food

Cocktails are more often the bookends of a meal, but the Station House Cafe Manhattan pairs well with rich, bold and sweet flavors, like steak, smoked duck, pulled pork; cheeses such as blue and chèvre; roasted figs.

Station House Cafe Manhattan

Two parts Redwood Empire whisky, poured over ice into a beaker
One part Vya sweet vermouth
4-5 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir

Strained and served up in a chilled Martini glass
Add a Luxeadro cherry

Try making this at home. Or better yet, head over to Station House Cafe and enjoy one of their classic or seasonal cocktails.

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