Queen Bee Mixology

Comparing the Classics: Old Fashioned vs Manhattan

Comparing the Classics: Old Fashioned vs Manhattan

Cocktail enthusiasts, it’s time to mix things up! As a dedicated mixologist and influencer, I am always on the lookout for the best classic cocktails to share with you. Today, we’ll dive into two iconic drinks: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

These cocktails have been around for over a century and are considered must-haves for those looking for a classic and sophisticated libation. They’re true staples of bars and restaurants, and they’ve become synonymous with class and elegance. But what sets them apart…and which one is right for you? Let’s find out!

First, let’s chat about the Old Fashioned. This drink dates back to the late 1800s and is known as the original cocktail. It’s made with a simple blend of sugar, bitters, and whiskey, then garnished with a citrus twist and a cherry. The Old Fashioned is a drink for those who appreciate tradition, with a strong and rich flavor that can’t be matched. The sugar and bitters balance the whiskey, creating a smooth and well-rounded drink that is perfect for sipping slowly.


And then, there’s the Manhattan. Created in the late 1800s, it’s believed to have originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City. This cocktail is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and garnished with a cherry as a finishing touch. The Manhattan is smooth and well-balanced with a touch of sweetness. The sweet vermouth complements the whiskey, resulting in a cocktail that is both smooth and refined.


So, which one should you choose? The straightforward answer is: if you love bold and robust flavors, go for the Old Fashioned, but if you prefer a smoother and sweeter taste, the Manhattan is your drink.

One of the great things about these two cocktails is their versatility. They can be served at any occasion, from a casual night out with friends to a formal dinner party. They can be customized to suit your individual taste with the many different types of whiskey, bitters, and sweeteners available to experiment with.

In addition, both of these cocktails are relatively easy to make, making them great options for those who enjoy entertaining at home – all you need are a few basic ingredients and a standard shaker.

In short, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan are classics that have stood the test of time. The next time you’re at the bar, treat yourself to both and discover your favorite!


Author Meet Kelly Sparks, the creative mastermind and cocktail influencer behind @QueenBeeMixology. While mixology may not be her day job, it is her passion. As the Founder and CEO of VMG Studios, a successful and award-winning creative agency and video production studio, Kelly brings her expertise in creativity to the world of cocktails. As a self-taught and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, Kelly makes the journey to amazing cocktails accessible to everyone. And when she’s not hard at work, you can find her sipping a delicious drink with her husband.

To mix drinks like a pro, check out my go-to bar tools and glasses.