A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 22, 2008
Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn cocktail is not nearly as famous as the Manhattan Cocktail or even the Bronx Cocktail. There is a version of a “Brooklyn Cocktail” from 1910, but the ingredients are not familiar to the standard drink called a “Brooklyn Cocktail.” Another drink by the name of “Brooklyn Cocktail” was listed in print in 1934. In 1945, it was mentioned in print that The New Yorker hotel had been serving a “Brooklyn Cocktail” for over a year, consisting of rye whiskey and apricot brandy.

The standard Brookyln cocktail contains 1 ounces rye or blended whiskey, 1 ounce dry vermouth, a dash of maraschino liqueur and a dash of Amer Picon. Torani Amer (from California) is substituted nowadays for the rarely found Amer Picon.

Brooklyn Cocktail
With rye, maraschino, and Amer Picon, this classic cocktail is worth reviving.
2 ounces rye or blended whiskey
1 ounce dry vermouth
Dash of maraschino liqueur
Dash of Amer Picon
Shake all ingredients well with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

6 September 1910, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 6:
Gentlemen, the Brooklyn cocktail.
“Three parts gin, one part French and one part Italian vermouth, one-half or one-third raspberry syrup. Embalm in a shaker of cracked ice and shake the very life into it. Serve repeatedly, smoking cold.”
At an experiement station far removed from the Broadway zone, a hard working bartender was asked to give his verdict.

“If I lived in Brooklyn,” said he testily, “I’d stick to beer.”

12 January 1934, Catering Industry Employee, pg. 21:
(Recipes from Jake Didier’s Didier’s Reminder contain Brooklyn Cocktail, Brown Cocktail, and Cornell Cocktail—ed.)

20 December 1945, Lowell (MA) Sun:
The New Yorker hotel frantically claims its bar has been featuring a Brooklyn cocktail for almost a year. Ingredients: Rye whiskey, apricot brandy and lemon ...

Google Books
The World’s Best Bartender Guide
by Joseph Scott and Donald Bain
New York, NY: HP Books
Pg. 179:
Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Google Books
The Wordsworth Ultimate Cocktail Book
by Ned Halley
Wordsworth Editions
Pg. 259:
2 oz. rye
1 oz. dry vermouth
dash Amer Picon bitters
dash maraschino
Stir over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

New York (NY) Times
I’ll Take Manhattan (Brooklyn, Too)
Published: October 21, 1998
Now, fair is fair. At least two other boroughs have namesake drinks: the Brooklyn, an obscure combination of rye, dry vermouth, maraschino and Amer Picon (a kind of bitters) and the somewhat better-known Bronx, composed of gin, sweet and dry vermouth and orange juice. But those are frankly also-rans.

New York (NY) Times
Published: April 16, 2000
A Dry Brooklyn, Please
Q. I sip the occasional Manhattan, and once in a blue moon I’ll grab the orange juice and gin and make myself a Bronx. Are there cocktails named for the other boroughs?
A. The Brooklyn cocktail, created in the 1930’s, is prepared with two parts rye whiskey and one part dry vermouth, along with a dash of Amer Picon—a French bitters—and another of Maraschino liqueur. As for cocktails named for Queens or Staten Island, the search continues.

New York (NY) Times
All Stirred Up
Published: November 6, 2005
...and wd-50 on the Lower East Side stocks Torani Amer, the European-style aperitif from California, which is essential for a proper Brooklyn cocktail (rye, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur and Torani Amer).

The Cocktail Chronicles
Red Hook
Posted on November 18th, 2005 by Paul
Just when I started to think that every combination of classic ingredients must have been tried, along comes a drink like the Red Hook. This variation on the classic Manhattan is a fairly recent creation, credited to Enzo Errico, bartender at Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey in New York. Named for the neighborhood in South Brooklyn–a former industrial zone with cobblestone streets and Civil War-era brick buildings, now yet another revitalized urban area–the Red Hook is a little more rugged than your typical Manhattan. The Punt y Mes has a bitter component, kind of a cross between sweet vermouth and Campari, that gives the drink a kind of serrated edge, but the healthy dose of maraschino manages to simultaneously tone down the Punt y Mes while adding its own complicated personality to the mix. In cautious balance on a base of rye whiskey, this flavor pairing manages to bring out the strengths in each modifier, without any one flavor becoming too dominant.
slkinsey // Nov 27, 2005 at 7:23 pm
The Red Hook is one of my favorites these days, and I have it almost every time I go to M&H. The formula I’ve had there is: 2 oz Old Overholt rye whiskey, 1/2 oz Punt e Mes and 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino.

I’m not sure it’s quite right to think of it as a Manhattan variant, though. Enzo told me it was inspired by the Brooklyn Cocktail, which is made with rye, sweet vermouth, Amer Picon and maraschino. The Punt e Mes is a stand-in for the sweet vermouth/Amer Picon combination.

Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The Brooklyn: New Drink at Starbucks
Actually, Brooklyn has its own classic cocktail (as do the Bronx and Queens), and it is delicious: rye, dry vermouth, maraschino, and amer picon. Rotten ol’ Starbucks, trying to destroy history…
Posted by: will | Jun 14, 2008 11:51:54 AM

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