Classic Metropolitan Cocktail

The Classic Metropolitan Cocktail
The Metropolitan is brandy's answer to the Manhattan and it is a simple cocktail recipe that may soon become a favorite. Photo Courtesy © S&C Design Studios
Ratings (33)
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
182 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Metropolitan sounds and looks like a classic cocktail, one as old as the Manhattan or Martinez, and it is often called a Brandy Manhattan or a Harvard, though those tend to skip the syrup.

A Metropolitan recipe appears in the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, but it calls for 2/3 Manhattan bitters (obsolete, possibly similar to Amer Picon) and 1/3 vermouth. While that sounds like an interesting mix, the more common brandy recipe has been noted with the year 1900.

There are other cocktails that have taken the name "Metropolitan." Possibly the most popular is one made of Absolut Kurant Vodka, cranberry and lime juices, and (sometimes) triple sec. It is very similar to a Cosmopolitan and was created during the 1990's in New York City.


  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

  2. Shake well.

  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

How Strong is the Metropolitan?

Drinks like the Metropolitan can be very strong. We see this in the alcohol-only Manhattan, which can top 30% ABV. Though we do add a small amount of simple syrup to this recipe, it does not help much.

The average Metropolitan still has an alcohol content of around 29% ABV (78 proof). This potency is precisely why drinks like this are only 3-ounce servings.