I’ve had the Boulevardier on the list of cocktails to make for some time. It just kept getting kicked back another week as other cocktails came up that seemed more interesting. And then it got kicked back because I had that string of Campari based cocktails all in a row and I didn’t feel comfortable doing yet another.
So what is a Boulevardier? It’s the Fall/Winter cousin of the Negroni. Subbing out gin for bourbon or rye whisky. This single substitution though changes the entire drink. Whisky smooths out and mellows the edges of a drink that is already made sharp by Campari. Something that the Negroni really did need…
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz. rye whisky
Add all ingredients to ice filled rocks glass. Stir to combine. Garnish with a orange twist.
Though as with the Negroni, you don’t want to hurry this cocktail. Take your time. Enjoy the interplay of rye and sweet vermouth. Embrace the medicinal brace of Campari as it splashes against the back of your throat.
The winter is long and cold and this drink can only keep you warm for so long. Embrace and enjoy it while it lasts.
The Cranberry Shrub cocktail is a variation on a venerable cocktail that was popular in America during the colonial era! A shrub is a sweetened vinegar-based syrup that is often used as a mixer in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For instructions on how to make the one I used in this recipe see here. I know, I know another cold drink!? But it’s winter! It is, but cranberries are seasonally appropriate and I’d drank a shrub cocktail, let alone make my own, before. Also, a good friend asked me to make this for them…
Cranberry Shrub Cocktail
2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. cranberry shrub
1 tsp maple syrup
3 drops bitters (your choice)
1/2 oz triple sec (optional)
Add all to a shaker half full of ice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled glass. Garnish w/ cranberry or orange peel.
It’s hard to describe what this drink tastes like. Vinegar is not something people usually mix with their alcohol. It’s not something people use at all, except for making salad dressing. There’s this tangy, refreshing, sweet crispness to the drink. It’s very bright on the tongue. Then comes the mellowness and warmth of the bourbon. I’m glad I used orange bitters I think the citrus helped bring everything together. (Note: I made another cocktail and added triple sec to it which also does the job nicely) If you’re getting bored with traditional mixers or you just want to up your cocktail game give this a try. Or make a different kind of shrub and let me know hot it worked for you.
There was a time when the Manhattan cocktail was brand new. A time when hip drinkers would walk into a bar ask for the drink and get a blank stare back from their bartender. In those earliest days of the cocktail there was still variation in the recipe and looking through old bartending guides one can find recipes for the cocktail that included Maraschino liqueur or Curacao. In time as the cocktail settled into the form we know today those alternatives took on other names. The Jockey Club is one of those variants, excluding bitters and adding a small amount of Maraschino liqueur.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur
Add ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
The Jockey Club, as one would expect considering its history, is a lot like a Manhattan. And that isn’t a bad thing. The real difference is that there is a herbally, cherry sweetness that lingers in the mouth that you won’t find when drinking a Manhattan. Both though will instill a bit a warmth in your throat and chest though. Just the sort of thing you’d want on a cool Autumn evening.
Sometime in the late 1800s the Manhattan had a cocktail named after it. A pretty good cocktail. At the turn of the century the Bronx also had a cocktail named after it. And at that point the borough of Brooklyn (it had been its own city until 1898) had to get involved. It too needed to have a cocktail named after itself. Eventually all five boroughs would have one (I’ll be doing all of them here…) The truth is that there have been many Brooklyn cocktails. All trying to live up, or really surpass, the Manhattan in taste and class. None have really come close, many have been very bad. The most popular, or the one that has lasted the longest, none of them have been particularly popular is the cocktail created by Jacob Grohusko. But much to the chagrin of Brooklynites is the fact that Jacob lived in Hoboken and worked in lower Manhattan… Despite all that it is the cocktail bearing the name of the beloved borough that has had the most staying power. Also, if you bother to look up all the alternatives it is the one that by far tastes the best.
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
dash of Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients with ice. Stir. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.
Don’t try ordering a Brooklyn at your local bar, you’ll just end up having to describe the drink to them and then the bartender, well-intended or not, will invariably mess it up and you’ll end up with sub-par cocktail. Sadly, the fact is that the only cocktail a bartender will know out of the five New York City boroughs is the Manhattan. If you take the time, and money to make this yourself at home you’ll be pleasantly surprised! The Brooklyn is a delicious, warming and sweet cocktail that just can’t seem to catch on or match the polish of Manhattan…
But, seeing as Manhattan is the location of Wall St., my mom is from Brooklyn, and I come from a long line of unpolished blue collar workers I’ll take the Brooklyn every time over a Manhattan.