Looking for the best Dark Rum Manhattan Cocktail recipe?
Our quick & easy Rum Manhattan is a spin on the classic whiskey mixed drink, featuring dark rum instead of rye, bourbon or scotch.
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker add your favourite premium dark rum, sweet red vermouth, orange & angostura bitters and shake until chilled. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a sweet amarena cherry or orange peel.
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What Is A Rum Manhattan?
While rye is the traditional whiskey of choice, other commonly used whiskies include Canadian whisky, bourbon, Irish blended whiskey, and Scotch (like the Perfect Rob Roy).
The cocktail is usually stirred then strained into a cocktail glass and garnished traditionally with a maraschino cherry. A Manhattan may be served over ice in a rocks glass or simply neat.
Popular history suggests that the craft cocktail originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the mid-1870s, where it was invented by Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.
The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated—the Manhattan cocktail.
Bartenders like to have fun getting creative with classic drink recipes and this Dark Rum Manhattan is a great example.
The main ingredients of a classic Manhattan remain the same except for the substitution of whiskey for dark rum.
Quality Dark Rum enjoys years of barreling, taking on complex flavour profiles that can be described as syrupy and molasses forward. The caramelized sugar cane notes can quickly take you on a sensory holiday to rum-producing islands like Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Rum Manhattan Recipe Ingredients
This homemade Rum Manhattan recipe is made with premium ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.
- Dark Rum: we suggest using Diplomatico or Appleton Estate.
- Sweet Vermouth: is a fortified wine that has been aromatized with botanicals. We suggest using Italian Vermouth Rosso by Martini.
- Bitters: we’ve used a combination of orange bitters and Angostura bitters to give the cocktail vibrant citrus notes.
- Garnish: we like to serve a Rum Manhattan with a sweet amarena cherry but you can also use an orange peel.
Rum Manhattan Cocktail Recipe Tips
This Rum Manhattan recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 5 minutes.
We love serving this Rum Manhattan when guests request a strong whiskey drink like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan. The molasses notes in the dark rum give the cocktail a delightful Caribbean vibe and delight unsuspecting aficionados. You may also like to serve our Brandy Manhattan Cocktail, perfect for cognac lovers.
You can prepare the cocktail by stirring the ingredients with ice using a bar spoon or by shaking in a cocktail shaker.
Our Rum Manhattan recipe below serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug rather than a cocktail shaker.
Serve the drink in a rocks glass or martini glass. Enjoy simply served neat or over ice. Garnish with a sweet maraschino cherry or orange peel.
Best Selling Rum
We suggest using a quality dark rum when making this Manhattan cocktail but you could also use a spiced rum.
Here are some of the world’s best selling rum brands, perfect for muddling into a sophisticated Rum Manhattan:
- Havana Club: is Cuba’s most famous rum brand, originally created in 1934. If you’re visiting Havana on holiday we highly suggest taking the Havana Club tour to learn more about the history of rum production on the island and evolution of the mojito.
- Bacardi: the world’s best selling rum was founded in 1862 in Cuba. The company moved to Puerto Rico due to the revolution and today tourists can visit the Cathedral of Rum in San Juan for the ultimate mojito experience.
- Appleton Estates: is a sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica that has been handcrafting rums since 1749. They produce a wide variety of aged rums, as well as standard gold and white rums.
- Captain Morgan: is a brand of flavoured rums named after the 17th-century Welsh privateer of the Caribbean, Sir Henry Morgan.
- Mount Gay: is a rum produced in Barbados, and dates back to 1703, making it the world’s oldest comercial rum distillery.
- Goslings: is a Bermuda-based brand famous for blending and distributing quality rum. Goslings Rum is famously the main ingredient in the Dark & Stormy cocktail.
- The Kraken: is a Caribbean black spiced rum named after the mythical squid-like sea monster. The premium rum product is produced in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Diplomatico: is a premium rum produced in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela.
- Lamb’s: first launched in 1849 and today is made with rums produced in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
- El Dorado: is a premium rum produced in Guyana.
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a swanky Rum Manhattan soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
You May Also Enjoy These Rum Recipes…
- Rhubarb Mojito Cocktail
- Christmas Vegan Eggnog Aquafaba Cocktail
- Brunch Rum and Orange Juice Cocktail
- Batida de Coco Brazilian Coconut Cachaça Cocktail
- Frozen Rum Raspberry Daiquiri Cocktail
- Aged Dark Rum Mojito Cocktail
- Classic Bacardi Mojito Cocktail
- Fresh Strawberry Mojito Cocktail
- Fresh Pineapple Mojito Cocktail
- Blueberry Blue Mojito Cocktail
- Passion Fruit Mojito Cocktail
- GLDN Hour Sparkling Collagen Water Cocktail
- Caribbean Coconut Rum Banana Bread Bundt Cake
How To Make A Dark Rum Manhattan
Dark Rum Manhattan Cocktail
- Shot Glass
- Cocktail Glass
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2 oz Dark Rum
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Stir all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a glass.
- Garnish with amarena cherry.
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