A French Manhattan cocktail is a fun, fancy twist on a traditional Manhattan using cognac in place of bourbon.
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Sometimes you want a cocktail, and sometimes you want a fancy cocktail. For those fancy times, the French Manhattan is here for you.
Why is it fancy? Cognac. This aged French brandy is swanky and classy, so let's booze it up in style.
Swapping the bourbon for cognac adds a slightly sweeter and smoother, yet still warming note. It takes things up a notch and makes them oh-so-French. Ooo la la!!
A French Manhattan puts an elevated twist on a classic!
- Cognac, a type of barrel-aged brandy, brings a sophisticated, luxurious French attitude.
- Served in coupe glasses for an elegant touch.
- Only 4 ingredients plus a yummy cocktail cherry for garnish!
Ingredients you'll need
- Cognac: This type of French brandy has lots of letters on the label that designate how long it has been aged: XO, VSOP, etc. Prices vary from $20 to thousands of dollars per bottle. You do NOT need to use a super expensive bottle to make this drink.
- Sweet vermouth: Dolin and Noilly Prat are great choices, or try a small batch brand.
- Cointreau: Or another orange liqueur like Grand Marnier.
- Angostura bitters: These aromatic bitters add a little herbaceous note that brings all the flavors together.
- Cocktail cherries: I like Fabbri Amarena Cherries.
How to make a French Manhattan
Nothing better than a cocktail recipe that only has two steps!! Adapted from Drinking French by David Lebovitz.
Step 1: Mix it up!
Add all ingredients except the cherries to a cocktail shaker or large glass with ice and stir to chill.
Step 2: Strain and garnish
Strain into a coupe glass and add one (or more!) cocktail cherries for garnish.
When to serve a French Manhattan
A French Manhattan is perfect for special occasions or a cozy evening in.
- Try one for a fancy happy hour.
- Serve them for a chic girls' night in.
- The cognac makes this a great choice for an after dinner drink.
- Perfect for the holidays because cognac is blingy!
- Any cold winter night when you need a warm up!
What to serve with a French Manhattan
Let's keep it French with these très français bites!
- Parmesan Rosemary Gougères with Goat Cheese Filling are a tried and true French snack for apéro hour.
- Radishes with Radish Leaf Butter because is it French if it doesn't have butter in it? Blanched radish leaves add freshness and depth to the traditional radishes dipped in butter.
More Manhattan cocktail recipes
- The classic Manhattan is as good as gold.
- A Boulevardier is the Manhattan's cousin, and throws some Campari into the mix.
- 1½ ounces cognac
- 1½ ounces sweet vermouth
- ¼ ounce orange liqueur Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or other
- dash Angostura bitters or substitute orange bitters
- cocktail cherries for garnish
- Add all ingredients except the cherries to a cocktail shaker or large glass with ice and stir to chill.
- Strain into a coupe glass and add one (or more!) cocktail cherries for garnish.
- Cognac is a type of French brandy that has lots of letters on the label designating how long it has been aged: XO, VSOP, etc. Prices vary from $20 to thousands of dollars per bottle. You do NOT need to use a super expensive bottle to make this drink.
- Adapted from Drinking French by David Lebovitz.
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