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Bronx Cocktail

To those who are unfamiliar, it can be hard to tell the difference between a Bronx cocktail and a perfect martini.

Bronx Cocktail coupe glass, orange garnish

But while the latter is far more popular, the Bronx cocktail is one that you should not pass up. Today, we’ll share the basics of this beverage then show you how to make it.

What is the Bronx Cocktail?

The Bronx cocktail is a classic cocktail that predates the American prohibition era. This drink shares many similarities with some other classics that you are likely more familiar with.

Consider the Bronx cocktail to be a close cousin to the martini and the Manhattan. All three of those drinks rely on some amount of bitters, vermouth, and a spirit.

In regard to the Bronx cocktail, the base ingredient is usually gin. Accompanying that spirit is an equal amount of sweet and dry vermouth as well as orange flavorings.

History of the Bronx Cocktail

Anyone who has tried to trace the history of classic cocktails knows that it can be a contentious affair. While one expert will claim a specific origin for a certain drink, another historian might claim another.

However, the Bronx cocktail seems to break the mold here by having a history that is relatively agreed upon by cocktail enthusiasts. Most of those experts recognize Johnny Solon as the creator of this drink.

The story of this drink suggests that Solon invented it just after a visit to the Bronx zoo. At the time, the zoo had just opened in 1899 and is the inspiration for the name of this cocktail. Solon then began serving his concoction to the public in the early 20th century, just before the dawn of prohibition.

Unfortunately for Bronx cocktail lovers, this drink has not garnered the same praise and admiration as some other New York cocktails. But that does not mean that it is without value. On the contrary, the Bronx cocktail offers some subtlety and nuance that its relatives do not.

The most notable example of this is the presence of orange juice in the drink. Lime and lemon may be far more popular as mixing ingredients. But the orange juice in a Bronx cocktail can be an enjoyable alternative.

Unlike lime and lemon, orange juice adds a nice level of freshness to the cocktail that adds significantly to the experience of drinking it.

Ingredients in the Bronx Cocktail

To your benefit, the Bronx cocktail consists of some ingredients that are exceptionally common in other classic cocktails. Here is a list of what you will need to make one for yourself:

  • 2 ounces of gin
  • ¼ ounce dry vermouth
  • ¼ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce of orange juice
  • 1 dash of orange bitters

How to Make the Bronx Cocktail

Finding the ingredients for a Bronx cocktail is easy, and so is the process for mixing them. Here is what you should do to complete your own Bronx cocktail at home:

  • Pour all liquid ingredients into a shaker with ice
  • Shake until chilled
  • Strain into a cocktail glass

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