Friday, October 11, 2013

Antica Formula Manhattan

Antica Formula Manhattan

When Brian and I first met, he was a bourbon drinker but doesn't recall ever having had a Manhattan.  I loved Manhattans but always had them made with the traditional rye whiskey.  Now, years later, we both enjoy the happy marriage of bourbon Manhattans.  We've tested bourbons, we've found our favorite but we never gave a second thought to the vermouth.  We had the standard label, found everywhere, in the back of the liquor cabinet forever.

Antica Formula Manhattan
A few months ago, however, a PR rep sent me a box of assorted spirits to try and one of them was a vermouth called Antica Formula.  We'd never heard of it before and it was getting to be summer anyway.  That means fruit drinks, ice cold vodka and various frozen blender cocktails.  We dutifully stuck the new vermouth in the back of the liquor cabinet with the old vermouth and got on with our summer plans.

Antica Formula Manhattan
But now that the cooler weather is here, Brian has had a hankering for his favorite bourbon concoction and we finally gave the Antica a try.  Wow, what a difference!  We did several taste tests with several drinks (it's a hard job but someone has to do it) and there's no doubt how much better this vermouth is.  Smoother, lightly sweet and without the typical "old wine" taste of the vermouth flavor we're used to.  In fact, we've actually purchased several bottles since that first free one and will be buying more.  So here, then, is our favorite Manhattan recipe using our new favorite vermouth.  Cheers!

Per Serving:
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Antica Formula vermouth
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
1 Teaspoon maraschino cherry juice (optional)

Antica Formula Manhattan
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add a few ice cubes and shake well.  Pour into an Old Fashioned or other cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry (or two).  Note that bourbon tastes sweeter as it warms up so the glass should be at room temperature.

Disclosure:  I received a free bottle of Antica Formula Vermouth to sample but was under no obligation to review it or provide a favorable opinion.


  1. Very nice! I'm a bourbon manhattan fan myself but just got a bottle of Rye to sample and was thinking that I should really give the classic a try. However, I have no vermouth at home. Guess I should pick up a bottle of Antica after your review.

  2. This drink looks fabulous, Anita! So perfect for this time of year too.

  3. What Bourbon would you recommend with that Manhattan?

    1. Hi Christopher - Our go-to bourbon is Maker's Mark. We've tried this same recipe with Four Roses and it was good but the Maker's is a fuller flavor. We've also tried going up a notch in price to Woodford Reserve but found it wasn't necessary in this drink. Please let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers!

  4. I want to give this vermouth a try, as we love Manhattans. Do you keep your opened vermouth in the liquor cabinet? That might account for the "old wine" taste, as it should be refrigerated and used within a month or two.


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