Weekly Cocktail #50: The Brooklyn Cocktail

Pouring a Brooklyn cocktail.

Pouring a Brooklyn cocktail.

One of the many things we enjoy about the blog is that we get to “follow the muse”. Yes there are seasons, events and themes to guide us, but in the end we get to do what makes us happy. That’s the point, plus we usually get a few tasty dishes and drinks out of the deal and have excuses to invite friends over. (Have we found the secret to happiness? Maybe.)

brooklyn1brooklynSo while we could be blogging on Mint Juleps for the Kentucky Derby (we like them, but not all that much), and we owe our friend Viveka a cocktail for winning our quiz (working on it Wivi!), we somehow found ourselves mixing a Brooklyn cocktail. And the Brooklyn cocktail is worth a try, particularly if you are a whiskey fan. And even if you aren’t, this smooth sip may surprise you.

brooklyn2brooklyn6The Brooklyn combines rye whiskey, dry vermouth, a dash of maraschino liqueur and a dash of Amer Picon. No one seems to have Amer Picon (a French digestif) these days, so most sources suggest amaro like Ramazotti, CioCiaro, Nonino or Montenegro. The recipe is flexible and all of these will work, we went with the Ramazotti, but also liked it with Nonino (we like a lot of stuff with Nonino). You can even just go with a mix of orange and Angostura bitters in a pinch.

brooklyn3If you notice a pattern with many of our cocktail posts, we tend to like to match rye whiskey with dry, rather than sweet, vermouth. Rye is dryer and spicier than bourbon, and we think you often lose those notes with some sweet vermouths (not always, but sometimes). If we want to enjoy the flavor of the rye, the herbal notes of a good dry vermouth seem like a natural fit. And we do like the combination in drinks like the Scofflaw (and our variant, the Tax Evasion ), so it isn’t that much of a surprise that the “muse” guided us towards the Brooklyn. (Or maybe it was Google….)

brooklyn7So what do you get with the Brooklyn? Firstly, you get a beautiful looking drink with deep golden hues. Lovely. As for the flavor, you get a smooth and slightly sweet sip, but with the spice of the rye, herbal vemouth and the bitter notes of the amaro keeping the flavor from becoming cloying. The maraschino adds some sweet, floral and nutty flavors. Basically, the Brooklyn is a dryer, smoother riff on a Manhattan. But since Brooklyn is way cooler than Manhattan these days, we think it makes sense that they have the smoother drink. (And speaking of Brooklyn- Hi Tina, Jonathan, Max and William!)

brooklyn5The Brooklyn Cocktail:


  • 2 oz. rye whiskey (Rittenhouse 100)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin)
  • 1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • 1/2 oz. Amer Picon (sub Ramazotti or other amaro)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail glass with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupé. Serve.

12 thoughts on “Weekly Cocktail #50: The Brooklyn Cocktail

  1. Pity with the whiskey and vermouth. This one of those land in Tokyo cocktails .. for me. Your are so fantastic on this … drink styling.

  2. I am quite excited to add this cocktail to our list. When my cousin comes to visit he always wants his early evening Manhattan. I am going to perfect this drink and see if I can woo him over to try something new. I can hardly wait to try! 🙂

    • Hope you like it. Playing with bourbon vs. rye and sweet vs. dry vermouth will give you some surprises. We have tempted many a Manhattan fan with drinks like the Brooklyn and Scofflaw…

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