While this article from the Times is nominally about Jack Daniel's (apparently on its way to becoming the world's most popular whiskey), it also contains a great pocket history of American whiskey, including the (unknown to me) tidbit that the Manhattan was originally made with rye whiskey, not bourbon (there are strict rules about what can be labeled bourbon).
Anyway, the recipe for a Manhattan is pretty straightforward:
- 2 parts bourbon
- 1 part sweet vermouth
- dash of bitters
- 1 cherry
To make it on the rocks, combine liquid ingredients in a double old fashioned glass with ice (small cubes or crushed). Pour into a cocktail shaker, shake, and then pour back into the glass and add the cherry.
For an up Manhattan, put ice (big cubes) in a cocktail shaker, add liquid ingredients, shake, strain into a cocktail glass (I prefer steep-sided cocktail glasses rather than v-shaped martini glasses, if only because it's too damn easy to spill your drink in (or out of) a martini glass, but I couldn't find a picture on the web), and add the cherry.
If you substitute scotch for the bourbon, the drink is called the Rob Roy. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I don't know what you'd call if it you replaced the bourbon with irish whiskey. Update: Mike Whybark, in the comments, suggests that irish whiskey mixed 2:1 with sweet vermouth should be called a "Michael Collins", for what he terms obvious reasons.