Recipe: Christmas Manhattan Cocktail

christmas manhattansChristmas Manhattan Cocktail

As the festive season rolls in, it’s time to shake up your cocktail game with a classic with a twist—the Christmas Manhattan. This isn’t just any Manhattan; it’s a dance of flavors, a toast to holiday cheer, and a nod to the connoisseurs of fine spirits. At its heart? A small batch whiskey that doesn’t just sing; it roars—the Redwood Rambler from our collection.

Originating in the late 19th century, the Manhattan cocktail is steeped in history and believed to have been concocted at New York City’s Manhattan Club. It quickly rose to acclaim, capturing the essence of the city’s sophistication and vibrancy. Traditionally, a Manhattan combines whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, served with a cherry. It’s a cocktail that’s stood the test of time, synonymous with urban elegance and a staple for whiskey aficionados.

This holiday season, we’re infusing this timeless classic with a festive twist. Why? Because sometimes traditions need a sprinkle of the present. We’re adding a touch of holiday magic with maple syrup and a smoky flair, making the Christmas Manhattan Cocktail not just a drink but a celebration of the season’s joy and warmth. With the Redwood Rambler’s bold flavor leading the charge, this version of the Manhattan is a toast to the holidays, blending the old with the new in a glass of cheer. 🍸🎄

The Essence of Redwood Rambler

Dive into the soul of this cocktail with Redwood Rambler whiskey. This isn’t your average whiskey; it’s a journey through untamed forests and a mastery of distillation that echoes with notes of caramel, oak, and tobacco. Each sip is like a walk through ancient redwood groves, bold and unapologetically flavorful.

The Redwood Rambler whiskey, available in our shop, is an exceptional spirit that embodies the essence of ancient forests and the art of distillation. With tasting notes of caramel, oak, and tobacco, it offers a symphony of flavors that echo the raw earthiness of a forest floor and the sweetness of caramel and spice. This whiskey is a tribute to the might of redwood trees and the craftsmanship of whiskey-making, making it an ideal choice for your Christmas Manhattan cocktail.

Crafting the Christmas Manhattan

Here’s where the magic happens. Grab your cocktail shaker; it’s about to get interesting. This is where you become not just a mixologist, but a creator of holiday memories. As you gather your ingredients, think of each element as a character in this festive story. The Redwood Rambler whiskey is your bold protagonist, bringing depth and complexity to the tale. Your cocktail shaker? It’s the stage where these characters come to life, blending together to create a harmonious symphony of flavors. Each shake is like a jingle bell, ringing in the joy of the season. So, let’s roll up those sleeves and embark on a journey of crafting a cocktail that’s not just a drink, but a festive tradition in a glass. 🍹🎅🏼


  • 2 oz Redwood Rambler whiskey
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • A smoked old fashioned twist: A splash of maple syrup
  • Orange peel for garnish
  • Luxardo cherry for that extra Christmas cheer

Special Equipment:

  • Smoking gun with wood chips (for that extra flair)
  • Ice cubes – as many as your festive heart desires


1. Smoke It Up: Start by smoking your glass. Fill it with smoke from your smoking gun, using quality wood chips. This isn’t just a cocktail; it’s a spectacle.
2. Mix It Right: In a shaker, add ice, Redwood Rambler whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters, and that holiday special – maple syrup.
3. Shake It: Shake it like you mean it. This is where your cocktail game peaks.
4. The Grand Pour: Pour the mix into your smoked glass. The sight of whiskey swirling with smoke? Pure art.
5. Garnish: Twist that orange peel, releasing its oils, then drop it in with a Luxardo cherry. It’s Christmas, after all.

Maxing out the Manhattan

Now, if you’re ready to crank up the rugged charm and unleash the full might of your bar prowess, here’s how to make that Christmas Manhattan a show-stopper. This isn’t just a dash of extra; it’s a full-throttle leap into the realm of cocktail mastery, the kind that would make even the most seasoned lumberjack raise an eyebrow in respect. So, roll up those flannel sleeves, and let’s get into turning this drink into a legendary holiday titan.” 🥃🌲💥

Barware Brilliance

Choose crystal cocktail glasses with a classic or contemporary design to align with your style. A weighty glass not only feels luxurious in hand but also keeps the cocktail chilled. For a more dramatic effect, use glasses with a wide rim, perfect for the smoked effect.

Setting the Scene

Decorate your party space with elements that evoke a cozy, cabin-in-the-woods ambiance. Think plaid tablecloths, wooden coasters, and centerpieces featuring pine branches or holly. Soft, yellow lighting from candles or string lights can create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Consider playing some soft jazz or classical music in the background to complement the mood.

Adding Flare

To rim the glass, lightly wet the edge with an orange slice, then dip it into a mix of sugar and cinnamon. This not only looks festive but also adds an extra layer of flavor. Introducing a small sprig of rosemary or a cinnamon stick as a stirrer can enhance the aroma and provide a subtle hint of additional flavor.

What to Avoid

Be cautious not to overpower the delicate balance of flavors in the Manhattan. Avoid using overly sweet syrups or too many garnishes that might clash with the whiskey’s robust profile.

Pitcher Perfect

If preparing in a pitcher for a group, mix the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters ahead of time. Keep this mixture chilled. Add the maple syrup just before serving to maintain its distinct flavor. Perform the smoking process for each glass to ensure that each guest experiences the full effect of the cocktail’s presentation.

With these additional touches, your Christmas Manhattan will not only be a delight to drink but also a feast for the eyes, making your holiday gathering all the more memorable. 🌟🍸🎄

Why Redwood Rambler?

This whiskey isn’t just a drink; it’s an experience. Its robust flavors elevate this classic cocktail into something extraordinary. When you mix Redwood Rambler into your Manhattan, you’re not just adding bourbon; you’re inviting the spirit of the wilderness into your glass.

Subscription Magic

But why stop at one bottle? Whiskey Collective offers a subscription that’s like Christmas every month. Sign up, and you’ll have the finest small batch whiskeys, like Redwood Rambler, delivered right to your doorstep. Imagine the cocktails you could craft, the nights you’d elevate, and the stories you’d tell.

Final Thoughts

This Christmas, transform your cocktail recipe into a tale of flavor and finesse. With the Redwood Rambler whiskey and a little creativity, your Manhattan will be more than a drink; it’ll be a festive legend.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab that Redwood Rambler, fire up your smoking gun, and let’s make this holiday season one to remember. And don’t forget, for the whiskey enthusiasts in your life, a subscription to Whiskey Collective is the gift that keeps on giving. Cheers to a holiday filled with great spirits and even greater cocktails!


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