Red Hook Cocktail Drink

Red Hook

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

Seeking simplicity in a cocktail glass? The Red Hook Cocktail recipe makes it easy, blending basic ingredients for a drink sure to satisfy.

Red Hook Cocktail Recipe

Relax with this simple Red Hook cocktail recipe! It's the perfect easy drink for any time, combining rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and maraschino liqueur.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

184 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • ½ oz sweet Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Brandied cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

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

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your glass or place it in the freezer to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the mixing glass, pour ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, ½ oz sweet Vermouth, and 2 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir Well: Add ice cubes and with a bar spoon, stir the ingredients thoroughly until the mixture is properly chilled.
  • Prepare Serving Glass: Remove the ice cubes from your cocktail glass or take it out from the freezer.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your cocktail glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.
  • Garnish: Drop a brandied cherry into the glass for an extra touch of elegance.
  • Serve: Present your Red Hook cocktail with pride. Cheers!

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: If rye's spiciness is too much for you, bourbon substitutes with its sweeter, softer character. I sometimes go for it when I'm in the mood for something less bold.
  • Sweet Vermouth: No sweet vermouth? No problem! I've swapped it with dry vermouth, but remember, it's less sweet and more herbal, so you should add a dash of simple syrup to keep the balance.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: It's unique, but in its absence, I've used a Luxardo cherry syrup or a dash of another cherry liqueur. The taste won't be the same, but it will maintain the cherry note essential to the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: For a gathering, I often multiply the ingredients by 8 for a crowd-pleasing batch. That's 16 oz of rye whiskey, 4 oz of sweet vermouth, and 2 oz of maraschino liqueur.
  • Mix: Combine all these in a large ice-filled pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the cocktails into chilled glasses, garnish each with a cherry, and watch them disappear quickly!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Substitute: Non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives are available, though they won't fully replicate rye's spiciness. They do bring similar warmth, which is crucial.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: I choose cherry juice or a non-alcoholic cherry syrup to mimic the Maraschino's sweetness and flavor.
  • Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vermouth available in the market.
  • Mix and Serve As Usual: Follow the main recipe and use these substitutes. You'll have a mocktail that even non-drinkers can love.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: The brandied cherry can be problematic since some brands use colorings or flavors derived from animal products. I ensure I'm using vegan-certified cherries for garnish or skip it altogether. Remember, it's more about the drink than the decoration.
  • Ingredients Check: Most spirits are vegan, but I always double-check the ingredients label to ensure no animal products were used in their production. Better safe than sorry!

Nutrition Facts

Calories
184
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Potassium
 
15
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Red Hook Cocktail Drink

Red Hook Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Relax with this simple Red Hook cocktail recipe! It's the perfect easy drink for any time, combining rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and maraschino liqueur.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 184

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • ½ oz sweet Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Brandied cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

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

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your glass or place it in the freezer to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the mixing glass, pour ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, ½ oz sweet Vermouth, and 2 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir Well: Add ice cubes and with a bar spoon, stir the ingredients thoroughly until the mixture is properly chilled.
  • Prepare Serving Glass: Remove the ice cubes from your cocktail glass or take it out from the freezer.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your cocktail glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.
  • Garnish: Drop a brandied cherry into the glass for an extra touch of elegance.
  • Serve: Present your Red Hook cocktail with pride. Cheers!

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: If rye's spiciness is too much for you, bourbon substitutes with its sweeter, softer character. I sometimes go for it when I'm in the mood for something less bold.
  • Sweet Vermouth: No sweet vermouth? No problem! I've swapped it with dry vermouth, but remember, it's less sweet and more herbal, so you should add a dash of simple syrup to keep the balance.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: It's unique, but in its absence, I've used a Luxardo cherry syrup or a dash of another cherry liqueur. The taste won't be the same, but it will maintain the cherry note essential to the cocktail.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: For a gathering, I often multiply the ingredients by 8 for a crowd-pleasing batch. That's 16 oz of rye whiskey, 4 oz of sweet vermouth, and 2 oz of maraschino liqueur.
  • Mix: Combine all these in a large ice-filled pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the cocktails into chilled glasses, garnish each with a cherry, and watch them disappear quickly!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Substitute: Non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives are available, though they won't fully replicate rye's spiciness. They do bring similar warmth, which is crucial.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: I choose cherry juice or a non-alcoholic cherry syrup to mimic the Maraschino's sweetness and flavor.
  • Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vermouth available in the market.
  • Mix and Serve As Usual: Follow the main recipe and use these substitutes. You'll have a mocktail that even non-drinkers can love.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: The brandied cherry can be problematic since some brands use colorings or flavors derived from animal products. I ensure I'm using vegan-certified cherries for garnish or skip it altogether. Remember, it's more about the drink than the decoration.
  • Ingredients Check: Most spirits are vegan, but I always double-check the ingredients label to ensure no animal products were used in their production. Better safe than sorry!

What is a Red Hook Cocktail?

A Red Hook Cocktail blends rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and maraschino liqueur. The drink owes its name to the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, known for its edgy yet classic vibe, much like the cocktail itself. While it shares a kinship with Manhattan, Red Hook’s bold, straightforward flavor profile stands out.

A side shot of a Red Hook cocktail in a coupe glass on a white coaster placed on a green cloth on a grey table surrounded by three plants, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a plate full with Maraschino cherries.

What is in a Red Hook Cocktail – The ingredients

To put together a Red Hook Cocktail, make sure you have the following:

  • Rye Whiskey: Provides the robust, spicy base that defines the cocktail’s strong character.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Adds a hint of herbal sweetness, balancing the whiskey’s heat.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: Infuses the drink with subtle cherry notes, rounding out the flavors with a touch of sweetness.

Rye Whiskey, sweet Vermouth and Maraschino Liqueur laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Red Hook Cocktail?

Step by step, our guide includes steps to craft a Red Hook Cocktail:

1
<p>Start by chilling your cocktail glass stirring some ice cubes in it or placing it in the freezer.</p>

Start by chilling your cocktail glass stirring some ice cubes in it or placing it in the freezer.

2
<p>Measure and pour ¼ oz of maraschino liqueur into the mixing, introducing a sweet and slightly sour note.</p>

Measure and pour ¼ oz of maraschino liqueur into the mixing, introducing a sweet and slightly sour note.

3
<p>Add ½ oz of sweet vermouth to the mix, contributing a subtle sweetness and herbal hint.</p>

Add ½ oz of sweet vermouth to the mix, contributing a subtle sweetness and herbal hint.

4
<p>Include 2 oz of rye whiskey into the mixing glass, ensuring the base of your cocktail is robust.</p>

Include 2 oz of rye whiskey into the mixing glass, ensuring the base of your cocktail is robust.

5
<p>Fill the mixing glass three-quarters full of ice cubes.</p>

Fill the mixing glass three-quarters full of ice cubes.

6
<p>Grab a bar spoon and stir the concoction thoroughly, blending the flavors while chilling the mixture.</p>

Grab a bar spoon and stir the concoction thoroughly, blending the flavors while chilling the mixture.

7
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your cocktail glass or take it out from the freezer.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your cocktail glass or take it out from the freezer.

8
<p>Strain the combined ingredients, leaving the ice in the mixing glass.</p>

Strain the combined ingredients, leaving the ice in the mixing glass.

9
<p>Garnish the drink with a brandished cherry, adding a touch of elegance and an extra layer of flavor.</p>

Garnish the drink with a brandished cherry, adding a touch of elegance and an extra layer of flavor.

10
<p>Enjoy your Red Hook cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Red Hook cocktail!

Red Hook Cocktail with Rum

A Red Hook cocktail with rum is a twist on the traditional Red Hook, substituting the classic ingredient, rye whiskey, with rum. This version maintains the original cocktail’s balance and structure while introducing the distinct flavors of rum — often a richer sweetness and a hint of molasses, depending on the rum used. Sweet vermouth and Maraschino liqueur remain constant, preserving the cocktail’s signature profile, albeit with a new, exciting dimension from the rum.

Variations

Craving more variety? Take a look at these favorites we recommend:

  • Greenpoint: This twist includes yellow Chartreuse and Angostura bitters, enhancing the original mix with herbal and spicy notes. The yellow Chartreuse brings an intricate blend of herbs, which I find incredibly appealing. It adds a layer of complexity that makes every sip a delightful discovery.
  • Brooklyn: This one stands out by integrating dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur. The dry vermouth offers a crisp, wine-like quality, while the maraschino adds a hint of cherry sweetness. I am particularly drawn to the subtle cherry flavor; it creates a wonderful balance with the dryness of the vermouth, resulting in a sophisticated and enjoyable experience.
  • Bushwick: This includes Cynar and Pernod, offering a unique combination of bitter and anise flavors. The Cynar contributes a bittersweet profile, while the Pernod introduces a distinct licorice taste. This combination creates a bold and intriguing flavor profile that is both challenging and satisfying.
  • Angel’s Envy Rendition: This utilizes the Angel’s Envy Bourbon, adding a smoother, slightly sweet and oaky nuance. The bourbon’s vanilla and caramel notes perfectly complement the other ingredients, making it exceptionally smooth. The sweet, oaky character of the Angel’s Envy Bourbon is something I genuinely appreciate; it makes this version remarkably smooth and a real pleasure to sip.

A Red Hook cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a white coastes placed on a green cloth on a grey table surrounded by a plant, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a plate full with Maraschino cherries.

History and Origins

The Red Hook cocktail emerged in the early 2000s, tracing its roots back to the vibrant neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York. Enzo Errico, a bartender at the famous Milk & Honey bar in Manhattan, is credited with creating this now-classic drink. Errico sought to craft a variant of the Brooklyn cocktail, a spin on the classic Manhattan.

The Brooklyn, while delicious, contained Amer Picon, a type of bitter difficult to find in the United States. Errico decided to omit the elusive Amer Picon and to use instead Punt e Mes, a sweet vermouth with a strong, bitter edge, to simplify the recipe. The result was a new, more accessible cocktail that maintained a complex, bittersweet profile reminiscent of its predecessors.

Named after the Red Hook district, the cocktail quickly gained popularity.

A Red Hook cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a white marmol table surrounded by a Rye Whiskey bottle, a sweet Vermouth bottle, a Maraschino Liqueur bottle and a plate with Maraschino cherries.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Red Hook cocktail?
Typically, the cocktail contains approximately 164 calories, primarily from the alcohol.
How strong is a Red Hook cocktail?
It has an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of about 24%, equivalent to 48 proof, depending on the specific brands of alcohol used.
What type of alcohol is in a Red Hook cocktail?
The cocktail primarily features rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a touch of Maraschino liqueur.In what type of glass should a Red Hook be served? Traditionally,  it's served in a coupe or cocktail glass.
What does a Red Hook cocktail taste like?
The drink offers a balanced taste profile with a robust base from the rye whiskey, sweetness from the vermouth, and a subtle sour cherry finish from the Maraschino liqueur.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Red Hook cocktail?
The classic cocktail follows a 4:2:1 ratio — 2 oz rye whiskey, ½ oz sweet vermouth, and ¼ oz Maraschino liqueur.
How is a Red Hook cocktail typically served with ice?
It's usually stirred with ice to chill, then strained and served "up" without ice in a pre-chilled glass.
Is a Red Hook cocktail expensive to make?
The cost can vary based on the brand of ingredients chosen; however, since it requires only three main ingredients, a Red Hook can be relatively economical to mix.

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