Rum Manhattan cocktail adding complexity to a classic cocktail


A rum Manhattan cocktail adds a note of complexity to the classic cocktail. Does this misunderstood spirit deserve another sip?

Have you had a rum Manhattan? The classic Manhattan cocktail is a combination of whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Whether the cocktail originated in the iconic New York borough or not, it is one that almost everyone has enjoyed at some point. While the simplicity of this cocktail has appeal, some people may shy away from whiskey, bourbon or rye. A rum version offers a nuanced flavor that is quite pleasing.

If you are considering swapping a rum for whiskey in a Manhattan, the rum choice is quite important. A white rum or a spiced rum isn’t quite the best idea. These versions of the tropical spirit can tend to lack the complexity needed to stand out in a three ingredient cocktail. A more full bodied, robust aged rum is a better choice.

Aged, premium rum, photo provided by Bacardi

One of the most well-known rum brands is Bacardi. Who hasn’t had a tropical influenced cocktail featuring a Bacardi rum? But, those vivacious, party cocktails aren’t the only way to enjoy this spirit. The new aged, full-bodied rums offer a sophistication that makes it a slow sipper.

Live Feed

Get Christmas ready with a Merry High Light from Miller High Life
Get Christmas ready with a Merry High Light from Miller High Life /

Guilty Eats

  • The Fireball Dragnum Classy Collection is out in time for the holidaysGuilty Eats
  • Three cocktail trends to watch in 2024Local POV
  • Fire At Will is a great new restaurant in the Phoenix areaLocal POV
  • Four Washington DC bars to add to your rotationLocal POV
  • 818 Tequila and Art of Sucre team up for a glittery treatGuilty Eats
  • With choices rums aged for eight to 10 years, these rums have layers of flavors that reveal themselves. From hints of vanilla to notes from the casks, these rums are definitely not reminiscent of that Spring Break vacation.

    Since bourbon and whiskey has had its trending moment, the aged rum category is ready to emerge. Cocktail enthusiast will be looking to take familiar drinks and develop a new take on them. The Manhattan is a perfect example.

    For example, to create a Rum Manhattan, I would recommend this variation. It is an adaptation of the classic cocktail. In my version, I use the Bacardi Ocho. While many people consider this a sipping rum, the warmth of the nutmeg and vanilla in the aged rum make it a perfect choice for a Manhattan cocktail.

    My cocktail version is two part Bacardi Ocho, 1 part sweet vermouth, 4 dashed of Angostura bitters and garnish with a cherry (preferably a Luxardo Maraschino cherry). I serve my version in a highball glass, over one large ice cube.

    As a variation on a classic cocktail, this option works well either before or after a meal. Personally, I prefer mine after the meal (I drink my desserts). Truthfully, one cocktail is definitely enough.

    Related Story. How long should you properly sip a beer?. light

    Have you ever had a rum Manhattan? Are you ready to explore the rum category?