It's World Cocktail Week! Setting aside the obvious retort ("Isn't every week world cocktail week?"), we raise a glass to the classics, spotlighting one great drink a day.
The Cocktail: The Manhattan
What's in It: No foofy umbrellas or loungey hijinks here: With a Manhattan, a maraschino cherry is usually your only speedbump en route to straight booze. Usually made with whiskey (rye or bourbon - if your bartender doesn't ask for your liquor preference, either he has a house recipe, or you're about to be served a terrible drink), a dash of bitters and vermouth.
The Lore: Most versions of the story place this drink's birth at the Manhattan Club in the 1870s.
Where to Drink It in NYC:Gramercy Tavern's version (with Rittenhouse Rye) is lovely. At Tribeca's Brandy Library, they have a couple of versions; try the Perfect Manhattan, made with both sweet and dry vermouth. Manhattan excellence meets nourish sexiness at Death & Co. (East Village), where the Manhattan Transfer is made with Noilly Pratt dry vermouth and Ramazzotti bitters. And the best mix-to-money ratio may be at Old Town, whose very respectable Manhattan (last time we were there) was $7.