I drank two Maker's Manhattans at an after-work event last night. The bartender shook the Manhattans in a Boston shaker, which resulted in ice shards in my drink, and didn't add any bitters. I cried a little inside. To be fair, the drinks were free and there was a constant line at the bar.
Gah. Really, a sadness in the U.S. is that reduction in price compensates for any loss of quality or humanity, and I don't think that loss is fair!
My worst Manhattan experience was in State College, PA. I saw a bottle of M&R sweet vermouth in the bar fridge, pointed to it, and said, I guess that means you can make me a Manhattan? The barkeep said, Sure! I got a funny red looking thing. It was appalling. I asked what it was, and he said it was Makers and maraschino cherry juice.
Yah, seriously. I don't know why. I don't really feel they are well-balanced or get the best from their ingredients. Dunno. But my signature cocktail is a Martini variant, so, dunno again.