The Manhasset at Publicans: An Oldie But Goodie


There are infinite ways to tweak traditional cocktails. For whiskey lovers craving a twist to a classic, the Manhasset awaits at Publicans, which adds an extra shot to freshen up the Manhattan.

The Manhasset was created in the 1970s by Steve Schnitzer, the original owner of Publicans on Plandome Road, before it closed in 1999. Edison’s Ale House opened in its place and remained until 2016. Publicans was reborn last year as a modern American tavern — and resumed mixing the Manhasset.

“It tastes like a very smooth Manhattan,” Carter Messman, director of operations at the new Publicans, says of the Manhasset.

Behind the bar today are 20 beers on draft, shelves of liquor and subway tiles. Wood paneling, exposed white brick, and paned windows divide the bar and dining area. Burgers, tavern classics, steaks and wings adorn the menu.

Not all is lost from the original Publicans. The Manhasset is still made with the original recipe. The drink made an appearance in Pulitzer Prize-winning author J.R. Moehringer’s 2006 memoir, The Tender Bar.

Unlike the traditional Manhattan, the Manhasset has an additional component to it: a shot of liquor on the side, designed to take the Manhattan cocktail to the next level.

There are several ingredients to Schnitzer’s version of the Manhattan: Evan Williams Bourbon, Carpano’s Antica Formula Vermouth and Regan’s Orange Bitters.

To make the cocktail, simply add the bitters, bourbon and vermouth to a mixing tin, stir and pour over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Grab a shot glass, and pour the additional liquid into it. Garnish the cocktail with an orange peel and zest, and serve.

Combined with the sip-and-shot experience, the Manhasset has notes of cinnamon, orange and oak on top of a classic bourbon taste.

“The orange bitters make the bourbon extra smooth, and the extra shot on the side is an homage to the town and how the little extra is there to satisfy a town that enjoys its drinks,” Messman says.

Publicans is located at 550 Plandome Rd. in Manhasset. They can be reached at 516-627-7722 or publicansmanhasset.com