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Holiday Manhattan Spritz

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This Holiday Manhattan Spritz is a fun holiday spin on the classic manhattan cocktail. All the flavors of a Manhattan, but lightened up with a splash of black cherry seltzer.
Servings: 2 people
Total Time: 10 minutes
manhattan spritz in a stemless champagne flute garnished with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary

I had my first Manhattan at a family gathering when I was home from college for the holidays and that was the start of my love for bourbon. This holiday Manhattan spritz is a lighter version of the classic cocktail. It includes all the classic ingredients along with black cherry seltzer which means the taste of a Manhattan but with a lighter bourbon taste.

manhattan spritz in a stemless champagne flute garnished with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary

Key Ingredients and Substitutions


A classic Manhattan doesn’t have many ingredients, so quality is the driving force of how good this will taste.

The full ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.

  • Cherry-Flavored Seltzer Water (or Sparkling Water): If you’ve got a favorite brand see if they’ve got a cherry flavor; otherwise just use unflavored seltzer and maybe add an extra splash of cherry juice.
  • Bourbon: There are a lot of great bourbons available, as any visit to a trendy liquor store will demonstrate. You don’t need a $50 bottle for this to taste good – a mainstream brand like Maker’s Mark, Bulleit, or Knob’s Creek will do just fine. Don’t substitute whiskey, like Jack Daniels, as the flavor just won’t be right.
  • Black Cherry Juice: We are using high-quality, unsweetened black cherry juice that’s not from concentrate. There really aren’t too many mainstream brands out there, so it may be worth a trip to your local health food store to get the real stuff from a brand like R.W. Knudsen.
  • Sweet Vermouth: There are many artisanal vermouths, and if you’re not careful you could spend more on it than bourbon. We are using the old stand-by Martini & Rossi Rosso vermouth – ‘red’ and ‘sweet’ are synonymous when shopping for this fortified wine.
ingredients

How to Make a Holiday Manhattan Spritz


Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
This post may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Pro-tip: It’s easier to make these in a batch rather than individually, so adjust the recipe to the number of servings you’d like.

Holiday Manhattan Spritz: In a cocktail pitcher, add the bourbon, vermouth, black cherry juice, bitters, and ice. Stir for about 15 seconds and then using a cocktail strainer pour into the prepared glasses such as a champagne flute or mojito glass. Add the seltzer just before serving to ensure they remain effervescent. You may need to make two passes at each glass to avoid the foam from overflowing. Garnish the cocktails with cranberries, maraschino cherries, and orange peel.

More Holiday Cocktails To Try


Looking for more inspired holiday cocktail recipes? Try these other favorites:

  • Apple Cider Whiskey Sour – A twist on a classic cocktail that combines the flavors of fall with the warmth of whiskey with apple cider and brown sugar cinnamon simple syrup.
  • Cranberry Aperol Spritz – A seasonal spin on the classic Italian cocktail. Combining Aperol, cranberry juice, and fresh orange juice with effervescent prosecco, it is a refreshing drink perfect for holiday celebrations.
  • Christmas Holiday Margarita – The perfect holiday cocktail. It is sweet, tangy, and tart and combines tequila, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, and bitters for a festive drink.

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manhattan spritz in a stemless champagne flute garnished with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary

Holiday Manhattan Spritz

Posted by Jim
This Holiday Manhattan Spritz is a fun holiday spin on the classic manhattan cocktail. All the flavors of a Manhattan, but lightened up with a splash of black cherry seltzer.
5 from 1 vote

This recipe may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 53 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • ½ ounce sweet (red) vermouth
  • ½ ounce black cherry juice, not from concentrate
  • 2 splashes Angostura bitters
  • 12 ounces seltzer or sparkling water, black cherry flavored

Garnishes

  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • 2 orange twists

Instructions 

  • Add the bourbon, vermouth, black cherry juice, and bitters to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Stir for about 15 seconds and then using a cocktail strainer pour into the prepared glasses. Top with seltzer water and garnish.

Notes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. The nutritional value is only for the cocktail and will vary based on substitutions and changes in quantities.  It does not include the nutritional value of the cocktail with garnishes. 
Serving: 1drink | Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 25mg | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 20mg
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