Sometimes you get lucky and things just fall in to place. That happened to us last week as we made a quick stop on the road home from Atlanta for lunch and some cocktails to go. We got a great meal, some local ciders to bring home, a drink for later and I scored an ingredient I needed for this drink and a few others. So, in the spirit of things working out, won’t you please join me as we stand and make The Brooklyn.
This is a true classic cocktail, though it is not made all that often anymore. This riff on the classic Manhattan was created by Jack Grohusko around the turn of the last century at Baracca’s Restaurant in New York. The big difference is the use of Amer Picon, a French amaro with a unique orange flavor an a strong bitter finish. It is pretty hard to find in the states these days, so most folks substitute something like Amaro CioCiaro or Ramazotti. That is why I was so excited to discover that Atlanta’s Ticonderoga Club is offering their house version of this amaro as part of their cocktails to go program. So after we grabbed our Cheese Steaks from Fred’s Meat and Bread, we walked around the corner for a Ticonderoga Cup and a small bottle of Amer Ticon and made our way home to finally make the “Grohusko Original” Brooklyn which uses sweet italian vermouth instead of the French Dry stuff that most folks make this one with now.
Grab your mixing pitcher and pop in 1 1/2 ounce of Rye whiskey, I went with Corsair Ryemageddon; 1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth, I chose Gallo; 1/4 ounce of Amer Ticon and 1/4 ounce of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Add ice and give it a good stir to the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep till Brooklyn” natch, which I had totally forgotten had them sending up Motley CrÃ¼e and the hair metal scene. When well chilled, strain into a coupe and garnish with a luxardo cherry on a pick.
So, that is just stupid good. Not too sweet or too dry, very nicely balanced. The rye sings in this bringing a spicy topnote that the rest of the flavors accentuate. That orange bitter finish is truly amazing. I can see drinking this one, a lot. Well, until the Amer Ticon runs out anyway.
I have never been a huge fan of the Manhattan, Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my thing. I can and have enjoyed them, but they are rarely my first choice. That said, I often forget just what a good drink it actually is. There are so many riffs on this basic recipe, the Revolver, Rob Roy, Little Italy and The Preakness come to mind, all excellent takes on this whiskey and vermouth base. I’m glad I finally got to make this one, experience the difference that amaro makes and bring a little extra happiness into an otherwise uneventful day. Hopefully, you will get lucky in your own way today. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.