1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
Dash or two Maraschino liqueur
Dash aromatic bitters

Four out of the five boroughs of New York have cocktails named after them, of which the Manhattan is by far the most famous. Staten Island, somehow, is the teetotaler.

When the other three borough-cocktails are mentioned, it's usually to pan them. Embury tells us that far more Manhattans than Brooklyns are made even in Brooklyn, which, while definitely true, is perhaps rubbing it in a little too much. It's a very pleasant drink from time to time.

Among those who bother to make it, there are two schools of the Brooklyn. One simply makes it a dry Manhattan (implicitly making the sweet Manhattan coextensive with the Manhattan category). This, too, is an enjoyable cocktail, but there isn't much reason to give it its own name.

I prefer the second school, which adds Maraschino liqueur to the mix, creating a decidedly different drink. Maraschino fills out the body and adds a sweet, earthy dimension to the flavor profile.

I went with Dutch's Boomtown Bitters, previously written-up, on top. Amer Picon is often specifically indicated, in this and other cocktail recipes, but there's no need to wring your hands if you haven't got it. It's a bitters. Experiment with your own citrus or aromatic bitters until you find one that you like.

I should also note that my above recipe is approximate. The Brooklyn is a great tinkerer's drink. If you find you like it with a tablespoon of Maraschino, more power to you. These proportions should at least have you playing in in the right ballpark.

Dutch's Bitters

Hat tip to The Boston Shaker, which sold me both Saturday’s channel knife and this variety pack of Dutch’s bitters.

Dutch’s is a New York-based bitters maker that I was previously not familiar with. Their products combine flavors popular in a certain time and place in American history.

For instance, right now I’m sipping a 3:2 Manhattan with a few healthy dashes of the Boomtown bitters. These are meant to evoke gold-rush, frontier towns, with sarsaparilla, oak, mint, and coconut, among other things. The whole thing reminds me of smoke and molasses, and seems to thicken the mouthfeel of the vermouth somehow.

In short, I highly recommend the Boomtown. The Prohi-bitters (ginger, citrus, hibiscus) also smells delicious, although their Colonial line (lavender, juniper, rose) reminds me of somehing they’d pipe into a clothing store to increase sales. I’ll post more as I play with them.

Peychaud’s Bitters

Very happy to announce I’ve gone out and gotten myself a bottle of Peychaud’s. It’s about time - they’ve been around for two hundred years.

Peychaud’s is the signature bitters of New Orleans, and is essential in both the Sazerac (whose namesake company now produces the bitters) and the Vieux Carré. Followers of the blog may remember a version of that second drink I put up a while back, substituting cardamom bitters for the Peychaud’s. That’ll work in a pinch, but it’s not the same.

Peychaud’s’s flavor profile (there’s got to be a better way to render that possessive) hits anise and cherry notes most strikingly. In addition to being a storied bitters that is often specifically called for, it makes a fun variation for Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, or really anything that calls for bitters. I’m going to enjoy playing around with it.