the recipe to the armour cocktail: a manhattan variation

The Armour Cocktail is a classic drink which dates all the way to the early 20th century. The drink has since lost its popularity and is hardly seen in modern days. The recipe to the drink first appeared in the early edition of Straub’s Manual of Mixed Drinks published in the 1910s.

You could see that the drink is very similar to the traditional Manhattan. The classic Manhattan drink uses the Rye Whisky instead of the Sherry that is used in this recipe. Another difference is that this recipe uses the orange bitters. The classic version uses the Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters in most recipes.


  • 2 shots of Sweet Italian Vermouth
  • 2 shots of Sherry
  • Couple of dashes Orange bitters


  1. Add some ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 2 shots of sweet vermouth into the shaker, preferably Italian vermouth
  3. Add 2 shots of Sherry into the shaker
  4. Shake the contents of the shaker well
  5. Add couple of dashes of orange bitters into a chilled martini glass
  6. Swirl the bitters around in the glass to evenly coat the surface
  7. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass
armour drink recipe

Variations and Similar Drinks

Perfect Manhattan: Substitute Sherry in this recipe with Rye Whisky and you get the Manhattan. You could use another type of bitters instead of Orange bitters to suit your taste.

You can use dry vermouth instead of the sweet vermouth, to create a variation of this drink.

Tips and Notes

  • Some recipes call for a higher proportion of Sherry to sweet vermouth, but original recipe called for equal parts. You can tinker with the proportions to create something that suits your taste.
  • Dry sherry is usually preferred, but you could use any or what is available with little to no taste difference.
  • Orange bitters work the best, but other bitters that has a citrus base should work as well.