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. The standard Brooklyn 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 sometimes substituted nowadays for the rarely found Amer Picon.

A “Brooklyn Cocktail” recipe with Amer Picon, rye whiskey, vermouth and maraschino was printed in Jack’s Manual (1908). A similar “Brooklyn Cocktail” recipe was printed in Drinks (1914) by Jacques Straub. Although similar “Brooklyn Cocktail” recipes were published in many cocktail books, the cocktail never became popular with the general public.

Several different “Brooklyn Cocktail” recipes were printed in 1910 newspapers, including one recipe with hard cider and another with gin and French and Italian vermouths. In 1934, Brad Dewey, of Gage and Tollner’s Restaurant on Fulton Street, suggested a “Brooklyn Cocktail” of gin, grapefruit juice and grenadine. In 1945, the New Yorker Hotel served a “Brooklyn Cocktail” of rye whiskey, apricot brandy and lemon. In 1946, Schrafft’s restaurants served a “Brooklyn Cocktail” of silver rum, orange curacao and lime juice. All of these “Brooklyn Cocktail” variations were short-lived.

The other borough cocktails are Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.


Wikipedia: Brooklyn (cocktail)
The Brooklyn is one of five cocktails named for the boroughs of New York City, along with the Bronx, the Manhattan, the Queens and the Staten Island Ferry. It resembles a Manhattan, but with a specific type of bitters (several types of bitters can be used in a Manhattan) and the addition of Maraschino liqueur. It largely fell into obscurity after the end of Prohibition, but experienced a resurgence in the 1990s.

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

Vintage Cocktail Books
Jack’s Manual
By J. A. Gruhusko
New York, NY: Edward V. Brokaw & Bro.
1908
Pg. 22:
BROOKLYN COCKTAIL.
1 dash Amer. Picon bitters
1 dash Maraschino
50% rye whiskey
50% Ballor Vermouth
Fill glass with ice.
Stir and strain. Serve.

Vintage Cocktail Books
Jack’s Manual
By J. A. Gruhusko
New York, NY: McClunn & Co.
1910
Pg. 31:
BROOKLYN COCKTAIL.
1 dash Amer. Picon bitters
1 dash Maraschino
50% rye whiskey
50% Italian Vermouth
Fill glass with ice.
Stir and strain. Serve.

7 July 1910, The Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), pg. 4, col. 7:
THE BROOKLYN COCKTAIL.
Cincinnati Man Invents Concoction Guaranteed to Produce Results.
[New York Telegraph.]
There’s anther new cocktail in town. This time Brooklyn Borough has the distinction of naming it.

It’s the Brooklyn cocktail. Manhattan and The Bronx have been similarly honored; Richmond and Queens have yet to be heard from.
(...)
The name of the inventor who has made Brooklyn famous is Maurice Hegeman, of the “Follies of 1910,” and he says the idea came to him one night when he was in bed.
(...)
Half a whiskey glass of hard cider emptied into a long glass in which there are three good-sized lumps of ice.

Half a jigger of absinthe.

Fill glass to brim with ginger ale.

Only three ingredients, it will be seen.

6 September 1910, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 6, col. 6:
THE BROOKLYN COCKTAIL.
All Inventor Forgot to Put in Was the Ice Cream.
From the Kansas City Star.
Gentlemen, the Brooklyn cocktail.

And with it a panegyric from its inventor, Henry Wellington Wack, a lawyer, who is at the Hotel Nassau, Long Beach.
(...)
“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 experiment 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.”

Vintage Cocktail Books
Drinks
By Jacques Straub
Chicago, IL: The Hotel Monthly Press
1914
Pg. 20:
Brooklyn Cocktail
1 dash Amer Picon.
1 dash maraschino.
1/2 jigger French vermouth.
1/2 jigger good rye whiskey. Stir.

Vintage Cocktail Books
The Savoy Cocktail Book
By Harry Craddock
London, UK: Constable & Company, Ltd.
1930
Pg. 38:
BROOKLYN COCKTAIL.
1 Dash Amer Picon.
1 Dash Maraschino.
2/3 Canadian Club Whisky.
1/3 French Vermouth.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

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.)

10 February 1934, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Reverting to Type” by Art Arthur, pg. 9, col. 5:
About your column’s cocktail discussion, did you know what the ‘Savoy Cocktail Book,’ a 1934 Simon & Schuster publication, lists the following as the Brooklyn Cocktail? The recipe is one dash of Amer Picon, one dash of Maraschino, two-thirds of Canadian Club whisky and one-third French vermouth, then shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. 

20 December 1934, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, ‘Brooklyn Cocktail Finally Concocted After Hunt Lasting for Many Years” by Art Arthur, pg. 12, cols. 1-2:
No more ideal representative could be found, then, to be crowned with this distinction than Brad Dewey, of Gage & Tollner’s Restaurant, Fulton St.
(...)
And here you have it—equal parts of gin and grapefruit juice, with just a little dash of grenadine. Simple—but suh-well!

2 October 1941, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Ears to the Ground” by Clifford Evans, pg. 19, col. 7:
Larry MacPhail: The Society for the Prevention of Disparaging Remarks About Brooklyn announces an official Brooklyn cocktail. Take one-third rum, one-third Dry vermouth an one-third sweet vermouth, stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with twist of orange or lemon peel. According to President Sid Ascher, you take one drink—and then hooray for Brooklyn!

22 January 1945, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “On the Side” by E. V. Durling, pt. 1, pg. 7, col. 7:x
I have enjoyed a Bronx cocktail and a Manhattan cocktail but never a Brooklyn cocktail. In fact I didn’t know there was such a drink as the last named. However an expert on the subject states a Brooklyn cocktail consists of “one barspoon American picon, one barspoon marachino, 1.2 oz. French vermouth, one oz. rye whisky.”

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 ...

3 August 1968, Daily News (New York, NY), “On the Town” by Charles McHarry, pg. 27, col. 1:
As Brooklynite Joe Zullo points out, Schrafft’s was offering a Brooklyn Cocktail back in 1946. It consisted of 1 1/4 oz. silver rum, 1/2 oz. orange curacao and 1/2 oz. lime juice. These ingredients were chilled with cracked ice and served for 65 cents. The price was right but there were few takers, ...

Google Books
The World’s Best Bartender Guide
by Joseph Scott and Donald Bain
New York, NY: HP Books
1998
Pg. 179:
BROOKLYN COCKTAIL
(...)
2 OZ. BLENDED WHISKEY
1 OZ. DRY VERMOUTH
DASH OF MARASCHINO LIQUEUR
DASH OF AMER PICON
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
1998
Pg. 259:
Brooklyn
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)
By THOMAS VINCIGUERRA
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
F.Y.I.
By DANIEL B. SCHNEIDER
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
By PETER MEEHAN
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.

Google Groups: soc.motss
Happy May Day
Chris Hansen
6/2/07
(...)
Manhattans are supposed to be made with bourbon, I think. There is a recipe and lots of controversy in the comments at:
http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink580.html .

>And then there was the Bronx, which I assume is extinct as the great
>auk. Back in the 30s it was one of the three most popular cocktails
>served in the U.S.; it’s specifically mentioned is several of my
>favorite movies of the period, most notably _The Thin Man_ where Nick is
>teaching the bartenders what dance rhythms go with which drinks. The
>Bronx is a “perfect martini” with orange juice added. The screwdriver
>has probably replaced it among the health conscious and breakfast drinkers.

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink1619.html is the recipe for a Bronx cocktail. The only comment says that it’s good for a cold.

>Oddly enough, I’ve never heard a Queens cocktail.
http://www.drinksmixer.com/drinkl12m404.html replaces the OJ in the Bronx with pineapple juice. Sounds vile.

Brooklyn: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drinkl12m404.html sounds even viler: replace OJ with maraschino cherry juice!

Chris “There doesn’t seem to be a Staten Island cocktail (nor a “Richmond"); pity, as it would be fun to drink your way through the entire City of New York.” Hansen

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

Serious Eats (2011)
The Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe
BLAKE ROYER
The Brooklyn may be less well-known that its neighbor, the Manhattan, but it’s equally delicious. The maraschino liqueur (we recommend Luxardo) adds a rich sweetness, which compensates for the fact that dry rather than sweet vermouth is used. Amer Picon is difficult to find in the United States, but an Italian amaro such as Ramazzotti will substitute quite well. Or, you can skate by with a few dashes of bitters.

Punch
Meet the Brooklyn Cocktail Family
What is it about the Brooklyn cocktail that has spawned so many spin-offs? Kara Newman on the origins and essence of the borough’s eponymous drink and its many Brooklyn neighborhood-inspired riffs.
JANUARY 5, 2016 story: KARA NEWMAN photo: LIZZIE MUNRO
(...)
“The Brooklyn is not much more than a dry Manhattan, with dry vermouth replacing the sweet,” explains Savoring Gotham, a new book focused on New York City’s culinary history. First found in print in 1908 in J.A. Grohusko’s Jack’s Manual, a book aimed at innkeepers, bartenders and restaurateurs, the original recipe called for equal parts rye whiskey and Italian (sweet) vermouth (changed to dry vermouth in later iterations), plus small amounts of maraschino liqueur and Amer Picon—a French bitter orange liqueur.

Tavern on the Green (New York, NY)—Fall 2018 Beverages (COCKTAILS)
BRONX
Dorothy Parker Gin, Orange Juice, Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, Dolin Blanc Vermouth
14

BROOKLYN
Ragtime Rye, CioCiaro, Maraschino Liqueur, Dolin Dry Vermouth
15

MANHATTAN
Breukelen 77 Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Angostura Bitters
16

QUEENS
Bootlegger Vodka, Velvet Falernum, Hibiscus Syrup, Pomegranate Molasses, Lemon Juice
13

STATEN ISLAND
Owney’s Rum, Coconut Water, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice
15

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, June 22, 2008 • Permalink