Brooklyn Cocktail Drink

Brooklyn

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Ready for a tried-and-true cocktail? The Brooklyn Cocktail recipe delivers easy-to-find ingredients for a top-notch drink.

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Enjoy your evening with our Brooklyn Cocktail recipe! Blending Rye Whiskey, dry Vermouth, and Maraschino, it's a timeless treat for your taste buds.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

227 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz Amer Picon, or a similar bitter orange liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your cocktail glass in the freezer for a short while, or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the mixing glass, combine ¼ oz Amer Picon, ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, 1 oz dry Vermouth, and 2 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir: Stir the ingredients with ice for about 20-25 seconds.
  • Strain: Empty your cocktail glass of ice cubes and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Drop a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

From my experience, while the original ingredients make the Brooklyn Cocktail unique, there are some alternatives you can try:
  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon can be a good alternative. The profile will be slightly sweeter, but it works well.
  • Amer Picon: This is hard to find in some places. Bigallet China-China or Ramazzotti can be good stand-ins, though each brings its character to the drink.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: If you don't have this, a hint of cherry brandy or another cherry liqueur can work.

Making a Pitcher of Brooklyn Cocktail:

  • Scale: For 8 servings, use 16 oz of rye whiskey, 8 oz of dry vermouth, 2 oz of maraschino liqueur, and 2 oz of Amer Picon.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients with ice and stir.
  • Serve: Pour into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve right away.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute or a mix of non-alcoholic ginger ale with a hint of caramel syrup for that rye flavor.
  • Other Ingredients: Replace the dry vermouth with non-alcoholic white grape juice with a dash of lemon juice. For the maraschino liqueur, cherry juice or syrup can suffice. For the bitter, find a non-alcoholic option in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes, follow the steps above, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Brooklyn.

Making it Vegan:

  • Ensure that the Maraschino Liqueur and other ingredients are vegan-friendly. Some may contain animal derivatives. If unsure, consult the product labels or contact the manufacturer.
  • For garnish, choose a vegan maraschino cherry (some are colored with non-vegan dyes or preserved using non-vegan methods).

Nutrition Facts

Calories
227
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
30
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.01
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%

 

Brooklyn Cocktail Drink

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Enjoy your evening with our Brooklyn Cocktail recipe! Blending Rye Whiskey, dry Vermouth, and Maraschino, it's a timeless treat for your taste buds.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 227

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz Amer Picon - or a similar bitter orange liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your cocktail glass in the freezer for a short while, or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the mixing glass, combine ¼ oz Amer Picon, ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, 1 oz dry Vermouth, and 2 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir: Stir the ingredients with ice for about 20-25 seconds.
  • Strain: Empty your cocktail glass of ice cubes and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Drop a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

From my experience, while the original ingredients make the Brooklyn Cocktail unique, there are some alternatives you can try:
  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon can be a good alternative. The profile will be slightly sweeter, but it works well.
  • Amer Picon: This is hard to find in some places. Bigallet China-China or Ramazzotti can be good stand-ins, though each brings its character to the drink.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: If you don't have this, a hint of cherry brandy or another cherry liqueur can work.

Making a Pitcher of Brooklyn Cocktail:

  • Scale: For 8 servings, use 16 oz of rye whiskey, 8 oz of dry vermouth, 2 oz of maraschino liqueur, and 2 oz of Amer Picon.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients with ice and stir.
  • Serve: Pour into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve right away.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute or a mix of non-alcoholic ginger ale with a hint of caramel syrup for that rye flavor.
  • Other Ingredients: Replace the dry vermouth with non-alcoholic white grape juice with a dash of lemon juice. For the maraschino liqueur, cherry juice or syrup can suffice. For the bitter, find a non-alcoholic option in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes, follow the steps above, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Brooklyn.

Making it Vegan:

  • Ensure that the Maraschino Liqueur and other ingredients are vegan-friendly. Some may contain animal derivatives. If unsure, consult the product labels or contact the manufacturer.
  • For garnish, choose a vegan maraschino cherry (some are colored with non-vegan dyes or preserved using non-vegan methods).

What is a Brooklyn Cocktail?

A Brooklyn Cocktail is a rye whiskey-based drink combined with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon. Historians trace its roots back to the early 20th century as a sibling to Manhattan but with its unique twist. The name “Brooklyn” nods to its origin, stemming from the iconic New York borough.

A Brooklyn cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a white cloth on a grey table with two oranges and a jigger around.

What is in a Brooklyn Cocktail – The ingredients

For a Brooklyn Cocktail, you will need these ingredients:

  • Rye Whiskey: The primary spirit that provides a spicy and robust backbone to the cocktail.
  • Dry Vermouth: A fortified wine that adds dryness and complexity.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: A cherry liqueur that imparts a touch of sweetness and subtle fruitiness.
  • Amer Picon: A bitter orange liqueur that gives the drink depth and a slightly bitter edge.

Rye Whiskey, dry Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur and Amer Picon laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Brooklyn Cocktail?

Our instructions make it a breeze to create a Brooklyn Cocktail:

1
<p>Start by chilling your cocktail glass, either by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice cubes.</p>

Start by chilling your cocktail glass, either by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice cubes.

2
<p>In a mixing glass, incorporate the Amer Picon.</p>

In a mixing glass, incorporate the Amer Picon.

3
<p> Add Maraschino Liqueur to the mixing glass.</p>

Add Maraschino Liqueur to the mixing glass.

4
<p>Pour dry Vermouth into the mixing glass.</p>

Pour dry Vermouth into the mixing glass.

5
<p>Add Rye Whiskey to the mix.</p>

Add Rye Whiskey to the mix.

6
<p>Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.

7
<p>Stir the ingredients well with ice.</p>

Stir the ingredients well with ice.

8
<p>Empty your cocktail glass of any ice.</p>

Empty your cocktail glass of any ice.

9
<p>Strain the mixture from the mixing glass into the cocktail glass.</p>

Strain the mixture from the mixing glass into the cocktail glass.

10
<p>Finish by dropping a maraschino cherry into the glass for an elegant garnish.</p>

Finish by dropping a maraschino cherry into the glass for an elegant garnish.

11
<p>Enjoy your Brooklyn cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Brooklyn cocktail!

What is the difference between a Manhattan and a Brooklyn Cocktail?

The Manhattan and Brooklyn Cocktails hail from New York and are whiskey-based, but they differ in several ways. The Manhattan usually employs rye whiskey or bourbon paired with sweet vermouth, giving it a rich, slightly sweet undertone. On the other hand, the Brooklyn primarily uses rye whiskey and is accentuated by dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon, resulting in a crisper finish with a balance of sweet and bitter elements. While both can feature a cherry garnish, the Brooklyn sometimes opts for a lemon twist.

What is Amer Picon?

Amer Picon is a bittersweet French aperitif that’s a bit of a legend in the cocktail world. Its distinctive orange flavor has been a cherished ingredient in Europe for well over a century. While not as commonly found on American bars’ shelves, this very component gives the Brooklyn Cocktail its signature touch of bitterness. The original Amer Picon boasted a higher alcohol content, but today’s version is milder yet still packs a flavorful punch.

A Brooklyn cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a grey table and a white cloth around..

Variations

Looking for more distinct variations? We’ve gathered a few that we particularly love:

  • Red Hook: This mix stands out with its inclusion of maraschino liqueur and Punt e Mes, adding a distinct sweet and bitter profile. The maraschino offers a cherry-like sweetness, while the Punt e Mes introduces a deep, complex bitterness. I’m especially drawn to the way the maraschino’s sweetness contrasts with the Punt e Mes, creating a uniquely balanced taste.
  • Carroll Gardens: This one features a blend of rye, maraschino liqueur, and Nocino, a walnut liqueur. The Nocino adds a nutty, rich depth, complementing the spiciness of the rye. The maraschino’s subtle sweetness ties these flavors together. I appreciate how the Nocino adds a nutty warmth, making it cozy and intriguing.
  • Bensonhurst: This blend includes rye, dry vermouth, and Cynar, an artichoke-based bitter. The dry vermouth adds a crisp, herbal quality, while the Cynar introduces a unique vegetal bitterness. The combination of herbal and bitter flavors makes this an adventurous and robust choice.
  • Greenpoint: This combination is characterized by rye, yellow Chartreuse, and sweet vermouth. The yellow Chartreuse offers a honeyed, herbal complexity, perfectly complementing the sweet vermouth. The herbal notes of the Chartreuse bring a fresh and aromatic quality.
  • Cobble Hill: In this mix, manzanilla sherry and Amer Picon join rye. The manzanilla sherry brings a dry, slightly saline quality, while the Amer Picon contributes a bitter orange flavor. This results in a nuanced and sophisticated blend, with the sherry’s dryness perfectly balancing the Amer Picon’s bitterness.
  • Bushwick: This variation introduces the use of bitter liqueur and elderflower liqueur alongside rye. The elderflower adds a sweet, floral accent, while the bitter liqueur provides a contrasting sharp edge. This creates a delightful interplay of sweet floral notes and sharp bitterness.
  • Slope: Featuring rye, apricot liqueur, and Peychaud’s bitters, this mix is both fruity and spicy. The apricot liqueur offers a sweet, fruity essence, and the Peychaud’s bitters add a light, floral spiciness. I love the apricot’s sweetness, which brings a sunny, bright quality to the mix.
  • Bay Ridge: This one is a blend of rye, Cynar, and dry vermouth, creating a balance between bitterness and dry herbal flavors. The Cynar’s unique bitter profile melds seamlessly with the dry, crisp notes of the vermouth. This combination is bold and assertive, ideal for those who enjoy a more intense experience.
  • Perfect BQE: This combines rye, dry and sweet vermouth, and a splash of elderflower liqueur. The dual vermouths create a perfect harmony of dry and sweet, while the elderflower adds a delicate, floral sweetness. This results in a refined and elegant blend, with the elderflower bringing a graceful touch.
  • Williamsburg: This blend is made with rye, sweet vermouth, and Aperol, a bitter orange aperitif. The Aperol imparts a citrusy bitterness, which is nicely balanced by the sweet vermouth’s smooth, herbal qualities. The combination of bitter orange and herbal sweetness creates a lively and refreshing choice.

A Brooklyn cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on white marmol table surrounded by Rye Whiskey, dry Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur and Amer Picon.

History and Origins

The Brooklyn Cocktail finds its roots in the early 20th century, closely associated with the famous New York borough from which it takes its name. Unlike its more famous cousin, the Manhattan, the Brooklyn remained relatively obscure for many years. This obscurity primarily stemmed from one of its original ingredients, Amer Picon, which became hard to find outside of Europe.

The original recipe for the Brooklyn appeared in J.A. Grohusko’s 1908 bartending guide “Jack’s Manual.” Over the years, the drink’s recipe has seen several modifications, especially due to the unavailability of Amer Picon in the United States. Bartenders and enthusiasts have frequently substituted other bitters or amari in place of the elusive Amer Picon, leading to a myriad of variations.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Brooklyn Cocktail?
Typically, a Brooklyn Cocktail contains around 180 to 200 calories, but this can vary based on specific ingredient choices and serving size.
How strong is a Brooklyn Cocktail?
The strength of a Brooklyn Cocktail largely depends on the proof of the rye whiskey used. On average, it has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of about 30% to 35%, translating to 60 to 70 proof.
What type of alcohol is the primary ingredient in a Brooklyn Cocktail?
Rye whiskey serves as the primary alcoholic ingredient in a Brooklyn Cocktail.
In which type of glass should you serve a Brooklyn Cocktail?
Traditionally, you serve a Brooklyn Cocktail in a chilled cocktail or coupe glass.
What does a Brooklyn Cocktail taste like?
A Brooklyn Cocktail offers a balanced blend of spicy from the rye, sweet from the maraschino liqueur, and a touch of bitterness from the Amer Picon, creating together with vermouth a sophisticated and complex flavor profile.
What's the typical ratio of ingredients in a Brooklyn Cocktail?
The typical ratio for a Brooklyn Cocktail is 2 parts rye whiskey, 1 part dry vermouth, a quarter part maraschino liqueur, and a quarter part Amer Picon.
How is the Brooklyn Cocktail typically served in terms of ice?
A Brooklyn Cocktail is usually stirred with ice to chill and dilute it, then strained into a glass and served "up," meaning without ice.

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