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Brooklyn: the simple recipe for the classic cocktail rye whiskey cocktail

Total time: 5 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist

Famed for being one of five classic cocktails named for New York City's boroughs, the Brooklyn cocktail is sure to hit the spot for all the rye whiskey lovers out there. It's similar to the Manhattan, but with a few key differences. Unlike the Manhattan, the Brooklyn is made with dry vermouth, plus Amer Picon (amer is a bitter French aperitif) and uses maraschino liqueur as a sweetener.

The Brooklyn drink has it all – pleasantly bitter which is balanced out with sweetness and a touch of spice from the rye. With its 25% ABV alcohol percentage, it's perfect for sipping on to help you unwind at the end of a long week or as a sophisticated cocktail to enjoy after dinner.

Brooklyn Cocktail History 

The Brooklyn cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to at least the early 20th century. This tasty drink is a variation on the Manhattan, which was first mixed up sometime in the late 1800s, and is one of the five cocktails named after New York City's five boroughs.

The first recipe for the Brooklyn dates to 1908. It appeared in Jack's Manual by Jacob Grohusko, a bartender working in Manhattan, which helped make the Brooklyn a household name. Since then, it's become a popular cocktail, especially among fans of rye whiskey.

Tips for the Best Brooklyn Cocktail

Amer Picon can be tricky to hunt down. You can use another amer or swap it out for a few dashes of bitters.

Don't forget to chill your cocktail glass. It'll help keep your Brooklyn nicely chilled for longer.

You want your cocktail to be perfectly chilled but not too watered down. Stir the cocktail for about 20 to 25 seconds.

Brooklyn Cocktail Variations 

There are a couple of tasty variations on the classic Brooklyn drink, all of which take their name from famous neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

There's the Greenpoint, first created by Michael McIlroy of Milk & Honey bar in New York. Instead of Amer Picon, maraschino liqueur, and dry vermouth, the Greenpoint is made with yellow Chartreuse and sweet vermouth, giving it a sweeter, more floral flavor.

Then there's the Red Hook, originally concocted by Vincenzo Errico, also of NYC's Milk & Honey bar. The Red Hook swaps Amer Picon for Punt e Mes, a beautiful Italian red vermouth famous for its exceptional quality and flavor. Flavorwise, Red Hooks are somewhere between a Brooklyn and Manhattan.

How to Store a Brooklyn Drink

Because it doesn't have fresh juice or dairy, Brooklyns can be made well in advance, then stored in an airtight bottle for later enjoyment (ideal for parties!). They'll last about a month in the fridge.

rye whiskey
2 ounces
dry vermouth
1 ounce
maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce
amer picon
1/4 ounce
Luxardo maraschino cherry, for garnish

How to Make a Brooklyn Cocktail

Fill a mixing glass with ice.

Pour the rye, vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon into the glass.

Stir until the drink has chilled.

Strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with Luxardo cherry. Serve and enjoy!


Use a martini or coupe glass to serve your Brooklyn.

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