Working with rye? Try this Brooklyn cocktail recipe

This Brooklyn cocktail recipe is named after one of the five boroughs of New York City, and is one of our go-to rye whiskey cocktails — that is, whenever you can find Amer Picon.

The Brooklyn first makes an appearance in Jack’s Manual, by J. A. Grohusko, in 1908, but it doesn’t really get a good run in many cocktail books after Prohibition. The blame can perhaps be put on one of the cocktail’s more obscure ingredients – Amer Picon – a bittersweet French disgestif flavoured with orange, quinine, gentian and cinchona. At the time that Mr Grohusko included the Brooklyn in Jack’s Manual bitters like Amer Picon were at the height of their popularity. Following the wars Amer Picon lost some traction in markets like the US and by the 1970s they even changed the formula – reducing the proof and bastardising the flavour. For a long while Amer Picon was only ever seen in France – so the country that gave birth to the Brooklyn lacked even the ingredients to make it.

David Embury – author of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks offers another reason for the drink failing to leave a lasting impression on the cocktailian world. “Even in Brooklyn there are at least five to ten times as many Manhattans consumed as there are Brooklyns,” explains Embury in 1949. “Try them both and you’ll understand why.” It would seem that this rather curmudgeonly drinks writer for one believes the drink lacks merit in the flavour department. Give the drink whirl and make up your own mind on whether this is a worthy tipple or not. It wouldn’t be the first time a critic’s opinions have been wrong.

Brooklyn cocktail recipe

  • 60ml rye whiskey
  • 20ml dry vermouth
  • 7.5ml maraschino liqueur
  • 7.5ml Amer Picon

Stir down all ingredients and serve up. Garnish with an orange twist.

First published in Jack’s Manual, by J. A. Grohusko, 1908

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