Negroni vs. Manhattan: A Classic Cocktail Showdown

Posted by Kait Weir on

When it comes to classic cocktails, the Negroni and the Manhattan are two iconic choices that have stood the test of time. These libations offer a glimpse into the artistry of mixology and cater to distinct palates. Which will come out on top you ask? We truly couldn’t compare the two. That’d be like comparing Batman and Snoop Dogg: both supreme legends in their own worlds, never crossing paths. These two cocktails are distinct and stand well individually, so it’s difficult to say one is better than the other. Instead, we’ll allow you to come to that conclusion on your own.

In this blog, we'll dive into the world of these two classic drinks, highlighting their unique characteristics, histories, variations, and the perfect occasions to enjoy them. Plus, we'll provide insights into choosing Uncle Tim's Cocktails for the perfectly crafted Negroni and Manhattan experiences.

Negroni: Bittersweet Italian Elegance

The Negroni is a cocktail that exudes elegance with its rich history and sophisticated flavor profile. It's a perfect blend of equal parts gin, bitter aperitif, and sweet vermouth, garnished with an orange peel. This bittersweet concoction delivers a harmonious balance that's both refreshing and complex.

A graphic of a Negroni Cocktail with an orange slice


The Negroni dates back to early 20th-century Italy, attributed to Count Camillo Negroni's request to strengthen his Americano cocktail by adding gin. The result was the Negroni, a drink that quickly gained popularity due to its unique taste.

Flavor Profile:

The Negroni's distinct bitterness from the aperitif is complemented by the herbal notes of sweet vermouth and gin botanicals. This trio creates a layered and well-rounded taste experience.


There are hundreds of ways to reinvent the classic Negroni. When we formulated the Negroni series, we highlighted two of the most renowned variations of this classic cocktail: the White Negroni and the Boulevardier. The White Negroni uses a sweet white vermouth instead of the standard red and an aperitif that has more floral notes and is reminiscent of lemons rather than oranges. The Boulevardier is like the sophisticated older cousin to the Negroni. It uses a bourbon whiskey instead of a gin and also has a fruit brandy in it that makes it our sweetest yet most complex offering in the series. 

Perfect Occasion:

The Negroni is an excellent aperitif choice for those who appreciate a more bitter flavor profile. Its vibrant red hue and complex taste make it an ideal companion for upscale events, sophisticated dinners, and intimate gatherings.

Manhattan: Whiskey Warmth with Sweet Nuances

The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that highlights the character of whiskey while infusing it with the sweetness of vermouth and the depth of bitters. Typically made with rye whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth, and aromatic bitters, it's garnished with a cherry or lemon twist.

A graphic of a Manhattan Cocktail with a cherry garnish


The exact origins of the Manhattan are debated, but it's widely believed to have been born in New York City's Manhattan Club in the late 19th century. This cocktail has evolved and remains a staple in the mixology world.

Flavor Profile:

The Manhattan boasts a more intense and robust flavor, thanks to the whiskey base. The vermouth adds a touch of sweetness and herbal complexity, while the bitters round out the drink with their aromatic flair.


The Classic Manhattan is just that, classic. We took the classic recipes and elevated it in a few ways making the Manhattan series additions: the Smoked Manhattan and the Midnight Manhattan. These two cocktails are great renditions of this iconic cocktail because they allow for different elements of the well-known drink to shine more than others. The Smoked Manhattan uses a peat-smoked whiskey that has been barrel-aged for 5 years, perfect for the Scotch lovers among us. The Midnight Manhattan has the addition of an Amaro and a cherry liqueur that make it darker and fruitier. All around, the Manhattan series is robust and complex, but smooth and enjoyable.

Perfect Occasion:

A Manhattan is the perfect choice for those who enjoy the warmth of whiskey and the balance of sweet and bitter notes. It's a classic choice for formal events, cozy evenings by the fireplace, and upscale bars.

The Ultimate Negroni and Manhattan, Made by Uncle Tim’s Cocktails

To elevate your Negroni and Manhattan experiences, consider Uncle Tim’s Cocktails renditions of these classic cocktails. Our curated selection of gins, whiskeys, vermouths, and bitters add a new layer of depth to these classic cocktails. You don’t need to be a bartender to enjoy them either; simply pour over ice and enjoy our ready-made bottle cocktails in the comfort of your own home.

In the world of classic cocktails, the Negroni and the Manhattan stand as timeless choices, each offering a unique blend of flavors and histories. Whether you're drawn to the Negroni's bittersweet elegance or the Manhattan's whisky-infused warmth, both drinks have a place in cocktail culture. Elevate your mixology game by exploring the premium spirits and ingredients in Uncle Tim's Cocktails, adding a modern touch to these beloved classics. Cheers to discovering the perfect cocktail for every occasion!

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