Merry Manhattan, a Christmas Cocktail


I have a delicious cocktail for you, because it’s December and, this month, cocktails on Monday is the right thing to do.

Plus, you might need to take the edge off after your crazy weekend of black friday shopping.



This one definitely takes all edges off. Yes, things will be lovely and round…

It is, after all, a boozy Manhattan –

The cast: bourbon, dry vermouth and a few drops of bitters.

Made Merry with a yummy ginger-cinnamon-cardamom infused syrup. Mmmm hmmm.


The syrup is easy to make – just dissolve sugar in water on the stove, then throw in some goodies and let them bathe for an hour or so to let their flavours bloom and make things delicious.

The recipe makes more syrup than you’ll need today. Unless it was indeed a very strenuous shopping weekend.

(You weren’t at WalMart, were you?!?!)


Leftover syrup can be stored in a jar for another Merry Manhattan Monday, can be used to make this Dark & Stormy or use it to sweeten your tea or coffee for a festive wake-up.

OR brush it over a cake before frosting it to keep it moist and add some spice!

Or drizzle over Perfect French Toast!

Or to sweeten a winter fruit salad (pears! apples! pomegranate!).

Ok, I’ll stop now.


Christmas drinks should, first and foremost, be pretty! Sugared cranberry swizzle sticks make that happen – I’ll teach you how to make them in a very-soon-upcoming blog post.

Merry Manhattan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Inspired by a recipe of the same name in Canadian Living Magazine, December 2013.
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 drops angostura bitters
  • ½ oz spiced simple syrup
Spiced simple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2" piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the side of a knife
  1. Combine all cocktail ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice; shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Pour into short (Old Fashioned) glass.
To make simple syrup:
  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Allow spices to steep for at least an hour. Strain into a glass jar; cover and store leftover syrup in the fridge.

  • Melanie

    Gorgeous photos, and sounds delicious!

    • Jennifer Pallian

      Thanks, Melanie!

  • foodess

    @MelanieĀ thanks!

  • JennPeters

    Wish I could drink so I could try this!

  • Henriette

    I should try this. Seems not that hard to make and it sounds really good! Will be good for this season too!

  • Danielle

    Oh my, this could be dangerous – in a very good way of course! ā™„
    And yes, after a trip to Walmart, one of two of these is definitely needed!

  • JusticeSadie

    This looks incredible!