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.
I continue working my way through New York City’s borough’s this week (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) with the Queens’ cocktail. The Queens most resembles a Perfect Martini, a martini with equal part of dry and sweet vermouth, that has had pineapple juice added to it. If you’ve been following the Burroughs cocktail you’ll also know that this cocktail is nearly identical to the Bronx, which happens to also be more popular as a cocktail, except having pineapple instead of orange juice.
1 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. pineapple juice
Fill shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The Queens is a perfectly cromulent cocktail. Especially if you’re a fan of gin or pineapple… There really isn’t anything that makes it stick out though. It’s enjoyable but isn’t memorable enough that’d you’d order it at the bar. Or maybe it’s just unfair to compare it to the Manhattan? Probably unfair to compare most cocktails to the Manhattan. I do think some small changes would go a long way in making the cocktail more enjoyable the first among them are a little lemon juice and an egg white. The lemon juice would brighten the cocktail and add some depth to the drink and the egg white would make it silky smooth going down…
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.
As promised this week’s cocktail is the classic Martini. Being a classic one this martini is made using gin. Vodka martinis are good but they’re not a real martini. On top of that gin martinis taste a better than vodka ones. Yes, I said that. Wanna fight about it? Anyway let’s get to it!
There are numerous ways to serving a Martini, too many to go into here. You can splash in a little olive brine (Dirty Martini), you can replace the gin with vodka (Vodka Martini), you can use both gin, vodka, and a little Kina Lillet (Vesper Martini), and a thousand other variations that aren’t really martinis just cocktail served in a martini glass (appletini’s cherrytini’s, etc., etc.) You can even serve it over ice in an old fashioned glass. I went with an older recipe for the drink, common in the mid 20th century, that calls for more vermouth than is now used.
3 oz. Gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
lemon peel or olive (garnish)
Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink. Add garnish.
I didn’t know how to squeeze oil from a lemon peel. What I did instead was to pour the gin and vermouth through a sieve full of lemon zest. It seemed to impart a little of the lemony freshness into the drink. I’m not going to surprise anyone when I say this is a great cocktail. Simple, delicious, refreshing. All of that while imparting a sense of class and sophistication. Or that could just be me…