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Brooklyn Cocktail (Easy Recipe)

You don’t have to be from Brooklyn to enjoy a good Brooklyn cocktail. Even folks down South will appreciate this twist on the classic Manhattan

Appearing in the early 20th century, the Brooklyn cocktail has a bold, complex flavor. It combines rye whiskey, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon. 

Clear reddish Brooklyn cocktail served on a champagne coupe glass garnished with cherries on skewers.
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It balances sweet, bitter, and fruity nicely and even has a bit of spice from the rye. Give it a try! 

What Is a Brooklyn Cocktail?

The Brooklyn puts a drier spin on the Manhattan. Named after the New York borough, it first appeared in print in 1908. 

Credit for creating it goes to Manhattan bartender Jack Grohusko. Why he called it the Brooklyn is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it was because “Manhattan” was taken.

The drink keeps the Manhattan’s rye whiskey. However, it swaps sweet vermouth for dry. It also incorporates maraschino liqueur and Amer Picon or bitters.

Brooklyn cocktail garnished with cherries on skewers served on a champagne glass.

Ingredients 

Let’s look at those ingredients in a bit more detail: 

  • Ice – You’ll need plenty of large cubes to cool the drink while mixing it. However, you won’t add any to the serving glass. This drink is best served straight up. 
  • Rye whiskey – Use a high-quality brand whose flavor you enjoy. I prefer Redemption Straight Rye Whiskey or Nashville Barrel Small Batch Rye. You can substitute other types of whiskey, but it won’t be a “true” Brooklyn cocktail if you do. 
  • Dry vermouth – This is one drink where the vermouth’s flavor really shines through. So, as with the whiskey, be sure you get a brand you enjoy. Carpano is always a good option.
  • Maraschino liqueur – I typically use Luxardo, but any brand will suffice. 
  • Amer Picon – Amer Picon is a French aperitif with a bitter orange flavor. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to find in the States. Substitute a good amaro or Angostura bitters if you can’t track it down. 
  • Luxardo cherry – Garnishes are always optional, of course. But who doesn’t love a drink with a cherry on top?!
Top view of Brooklyn cocktail garnished with cherries on skewers served on a champagne glass.

How to Make a Brooklyn Cocktail 

Like most cocktails, the Brooklyn is easy to make. Follow these three simple steps: 

1. Mix. Add ice and all the liquid ingredients to a mixing glass. Stir until the drink is chilled. 

2. Strain. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. 

3. Garnish. Garnish it with a maraschino cherry, serve, and enjoy! 

Tips for the Best Cocktail 

Before you jump to the recipe card, check out my three best tips for making this cocktail: 

  • Stir, don’t shake. Stir the cocktail vigorously for 20 to 25 seconds to ensure it’s well-chilled. Don’t shake it, and don’t stir too long. Otherwise, you’ll dilute your drink.
  • Use plenty of ice for mixing. Add several large cubes to your mixing glass. The more ice you have, the colder your drink will be. Plus, using large cubes avoids dilution. 
  • Don’t stress over the Amer Picon. As mentioned, Amer Picon can be hard to find. If you can’t locate it, don’t panic. Angostura bitters will work just fine.

Brooklyn Cocktail (Easy Recipe)

Servings

1

servings
Prep time

2

minutes

Try this Brooklyn cocktail for a classy libation! Made with rye whiskey, vermouth, Amer Picon, and maraschino liqueur, it’s tough to top!

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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey

  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

  • 1/4 ounce Amer Picon (or a few dashes of Angostura Bitters)

  • Luxardo maraschino cherry, for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour the rye whiskey, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon (or Angostura bitters if substituting). Stir until well chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  • Garnish it with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes


  • Go for amaro if Amer Picon is unavailable. Amer Picon can be elusive. A good substitute could be an amaro like Amaro Tosolini. You can also use Angostura bitters.
  • Chill your glass. A pre-chilled glass ensures the cocktail remains refreshing from the first sip to the last.
Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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