The classic Manhattan may well be the most-riffed-upon cocktail in history – and for good reason! The recipe’s simplicity and balance lends itself well to substitutions and twists, and this French Manhattan is one of our favorites.
It’s definitely sweeter than a typical Manhattan, with an orange curaçao like Grand Marnier (or a triple sec like Cointreau, in a pinch) offering an extra dimension of citrus fragrance. It’s smoother, too, with cognac bringing a more muted woodiness than bourbon or rye.
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass. Drop a brandied cherry in the glass.