The Origin of The Manhattan

Posted by Kait Weir on


The Manhattan cocktail, a favorite of Uncle Tim, is a delightful blend of bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. With its notes of vanilla, warm spices, herbal undertones, and a touch of bitterness, the Manhattan has earned its place as a cherished classic among cocktail enthusiasts.

Unveiling the Enigma: Tracing the Origins

The exact origins of the Manhattan cocktail have long been a subject of debate and intrigue. Numerous stories surround its creation, each adding to the mystique of this iconic drink. Two prominent tales stand out:

Dr. Iain Manhattan's Creation

One theory attributes the Manhattan cocktail's invention to the late Dr. Iain Manhattan in the late 1800s. The story suggests that Dr. Manhattan crafted this exquisite concoction to delight Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. Allegedly, the Manhattan cocktail was first presented at the Manhattan Club in New York City.

Black's Artistry

An alternative narrative proposes that a bartender named Black, known for serving patrons below Broadway, was the creative mind behind the Manhattan cocktail. This version of the story contends that the cocktail's inception was a result of Black's expertise and innovative spirit.

Documenting the Manhattan: An Evolution

The cocktail's official recognition as the "Manhattan" occurred in 1884 when it was prominently featured in O.H. Byron's seminal work, "The Modern Bartender's Guide." This publication marked a pivotal moment in the Manhattan's journey, solidifying its status as a beloved libation.

The Manhattan Series: A Symphony of Flavors

Uncle Tim's Cocktails proudly presents the Manhattan series, showcasing the drink's timeless essence through three distinct variations:

Classic Manhattan

Embodying the essence of tradition, the Classic Manhattan boasts a harmonious fusion of charred wood, burnt spice, vanilla, and cola flavors. It remains a faithful homage to the original recipe's brilliance.

Smoked Manhattan

Elevating the Manhattan experience, the Smoked Manhattan is a masterpiece crafted with Colorado smoked peat whiskey. With notes reminiscent of a nocturnal campfire, this rendition promises an unforgettable taste adventure.

Midnight Manhattan

Indulge in the enigmatic allure of the Midnight Manhattan. Crafted with an amaro and cherry liqueur, this variant entices with its dark and fruity profile, igniting the senses with each sip.

Exploring the Options: Sizes and Sets

Uncle Tim's Manhattan series offers a range of choices to suit every preference:

  • Bottle Sizes: Choose from 100mL, 375mL, and 750mL options.
  • Tasting Sets: Delve into the world of Manhattan flavors with boxed tasting sets. Available in both 100mL and 375mL sizes, these sets showcase all three delectable variations.

Availability and Beyond

You can enjoy the Manhattan series through convenient options:

  • Pickup and Delivery: Our Manhattan products are available for pickup or delivery within a 10-mile radius of Uncle Tim's Cocktails Tasting Room.
  • Denver Metro Availability: Find Uncle Tim's Cocktails at various liquor stores throughout the Denver Metro area. Locate our products near you using our store locator.


The Manhattan cocktail's origin is a tapestry woven with tales of creativity, sophistication, and indulgence. Regardless of its precise beginnings, the Manhattan's enduring charm and wide-ranging flavors have solidified its place as a treasured classic, enjoyed by whiskey enthusiasts around the globe.

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