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Manhattan with Quick Homemade Bitters

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


Orange Vanilla Spiced Bitters

  • 1 small orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ vanilla extract
  • ounces high proof vodka


  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce vermouth
  • 2-3 drops of bitters
  • Ice
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 orange peel


  1. Break the cinnamon bark in half. Cut the peel off the orange and remove the pith from the inside of it. Break the orange into pieces. Put everything into a jar and add the cloves, star anise and vanilla.
  2. Pour the vodka into the jar and put the lid on it. Do not seal, but close the lid loosely.
  3. Fill a small saucepan with water approximately half way. Place the jar into the pan and turn the burner on medium-high. Allow the water to come to a simmer and remove the lid from the jar.
  4. Once the water has come to a simmer, the liquid will start to boil inside the jar. Let it cook like this for 10 minutes. Turn off the burner and let it cool 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the jar from the pan and transfer it to a hot pad to allow it to cool about 30 minutes.
  6. Strain the liquid from the bitters into a jar and close it with a lid.
  7. To make the manhattan, pour the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, cover and shake until well mixed. Strain the cocktail into a glass.
  8. Add a maraschino cherry and an orange peel for garnish