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Best of Toronto

The Best Manhattans in Toronto

Posted by Jen Hunter / October 28, 2015

manhattan torontoThe best Manhattans in Toronto are representative of what's known as the Sweet Manhattan (opposed to a perfect or dry), which seems to be the prevalent style these days. Mixing two ounces of whiskey with an ounce of sweet vermouth and bitters seems like a pretty easy drink to execute, but the devil is in the details - from the type of whiskey used to the quality of the bitters.

These are the best Manhattans in Toronto.

Cold Tea

Cold Tea

Cold Tea, ever the menu-less improvisational mavericks of the city, make their Manhattan using Rittenhouse Rye or Bourbon, up or on the rocks depending on what your preference is. The kicker here is in the blend of vermouths -- the powerfully-flavoured Punt e Mes is tempered with the comparatively subtle Dolin Rouge. However you order it, it's served with a cherry soaked in good booze. More »

Northwood

Northwood

Christie Pits' favourite cocktail bar always has a number of tasty drinks on their menu, but keep a Manhattan ($14) available pretty much all the time. Made with Rittenhouse rye and the much-prized Carpano Antica vermouth, it's a well balanced classic. More »

Barchef

Barchef

Wanna drop some bucks and get a real show out of it? If there's one cocktail experience in Toronto that you really can't miss, it has to be the Smoked Manhattan ($45). Served in a bell jar, with the drink smothered in hickory-vanilla smoke, it's a spectacular looking thing, though it's a bit hard to really classify it as a Manhattan given the use of brandy. More »

Harbord Room

Harbord Room

One of the first serious cocktail spots in the city's drinking renaissance, the Harbord Room has been home to some of the city's best bartending, thanks in no small part to co-owner Dave Mitton's tutelage. There's no fixed way to enjoy a Manhattan here, but they keep a range of whiskeys and vermouths, and will expertly blend any combination of ingredients to order. More »

Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bar

The Hoof Manhattan ($16) has been something of an institutional cocktail at Jen Agg's tiny little speakeasy. Sticking with Canadian rye and vermouth, the potent house bitters add some life and spice to the drink, as do the house infused cherries. More »

County General

County General

The County General's Manhattan ($18) has been a mainstay on their menu for years now. Knob Creek bourbon is stirred with Dolin Rouge and cherry masala chai bitters. In lieu of the cherry, County goes the route of the flamed orange peel served up as standard. More »

Montauk

Montauk

Mike Young's been slowly overhauling the cocktails at this fun little Dundas and Bathurst hangout, so gone are the draught Manhattans, and in are the delicious made-to-order variety. Forty Creek Canadian rye is stirred up with the Spanish Casa Mariol Vermut and Angostura for a light and zesty Manhattan ($11). Unless otherwise specified, it's on the rocks with a twist. More »

The Ace

The Ace

If you're in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, you should make a stop at this cute little diner-cum-cocktail bar. The drinks list is surprisingly comprehensive, and they're open for lunch and dinner every day. The Ace's Manhattan ($14) uses Crown Royal Black with Dolin Rouge and a spiced apricot sugar alongside the requisite bitters. More »

Spirithouse

Spirithouse

Toronto has any number of great cocktail bars, most of which require bartenders to work small miracles everyday just to cope with the physical and economical limitations of their tiny spaces. Not so at Spirithouse, where the barstaff have every conceivable tool and toy to work with, and acres of space to do it in. Aside from mixing to order ($14), they serve bottles of Manhattan ($80), each containing six orders to pour amongst yourselves at the table. More »

Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties

There's two tiers of this classic drink at this Bloor and Ossington bar, with guests able to choose between a Manhattan with George Dickel Rye ($12) or Rittenhouse Rye ($14). Whichever way you go, you'll be treated to a custom blend of vermouths, containing Dolin Rouge, Carpano Antica, Punt e Mes, Iris Rojo, and De Muller. More »

Rush Lane

Rush Lane

If you like your drinks fast as well as delicious, you should head to Rush Lane, where they serve Manhattans on tap. There's a few classic cocktails on the draught system including the fantastic Vieux Carre (a sort of Manhattan-sazerac fusion), but the Manhattan ($12) is made with Lot 40 rye, Dolin Rouge, and Angostura bitters. More »

Weslodge

Weslodge

Weslodge goes all out with its Manhattan using top shelf Basil Hayden's Bourbon, Carpano Antica, and a house tobacco tincture for added spice alongside the Angostura bitters. You can get them made-to-order ($18), or by the bottle ($160). More »

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