The Brooklyn Cocktail
This is perhaps a familiar refrain, dear reader, but the Brooklyn cocktail contains an ingredient, Amer Picon, that is not available in our fair nation. Nevertheless, the Brooklyn, subbing Punt e Mes for the French bitter aperitif, is frequently featured on menus in our vicinity. D, who likes his drinks “big, brown, and boozy” is a huge fan of this, (and the myriad other) Manhattan variations.
As such the Brooklyn was one of the first cocktails we barrel aged. And to be perfectly frank, those drinks, while fun experiments, were overly oaked. D loved them, I tolerated them, but as we had made them in fairly large quantities, we felt the need to imbibe them.
Stirring up a fresh Brooklyn for this project reminded me just how wonderful this bevvy is (and confirmed that we probably should not be barrel aging spirits that have already been barrel aged prior to bottling – there’s a huge learning curve folks!)
The Brooklyn works just fine with Punt e Mes, though we are lucky enough to have procured a bottle of Torani Amer, an American spirit inspired by the aforementioned French liquor, on a recent trip to Oregon. Torani Amer presents intense orange notes, redolent of Cointreau, with a pleasant bitterness and a less syrupy quality than the Italian vermouth. Additionally, at 39% ABV it is shelf-stable, making it a welcome addition to our liquor collection.
The resultant Brooklyn is a bold cocktail that I would recommend to anyone wanting a change from the familiar Old Fashioned or Manhattan. “It’s a sexy beast,” says D, “with all the best aspects of spirit: strength, sweetness, bitterness, and a hint of fruit.” D believes the Brooklyn would outsell the Manhattan if it were better known. For my part I am grateful that there is room for both cocktails in our repertoire.
We should add here that we did stumble across a bottle of bonafide Amer Picon at a local cocktail bar one evening. Sitting on a shelf, in plain view, sat this glorious illegal alien. D could barely contain his glee as he requested a “true” Brooklyn.
Unfortunately the spirit, which comes in at a mere 21% ABV, was old and had been left at room temperature for goodness knows how many months. Mixed into a cocktail it fell flat. And thus continues our search for yet another hard to procure spirit!
The Brooklyn Cocktail
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon
- ¾ ounce dry vermouth
- 2 teaspoons Amer Picon (sub Torani Amer or Punt e Mes)
- 2 teaspoons Luxardo Maraschino
Stir over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I like to expel orange oil from a twist and discard. Garnish with a cherry.