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The Bronx Cocktail

Posted by Reese on 2009-02-08 @ 07:48pm

This week we’re heading by to NYC, well a borough at least.  We’re going to be enjoying a blend of gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and orange juice; a Bronx Cocktail.  As with many of the other cocktails I’ve discussed here there are a few stories floating around as to its origin.  Seems it could have been discovered in Philadelphia by Joseph Sormani in 1905.  Which would to lend credence to the claim that it was printed on a cocktail menu from 1906.

However, the story I believe is that the drink was created by Johnnie Solon, a bartender at the Manhattan hotel.  The story goes that Johnnie was challenged to make a new cocktail by a waiter named Traverson on behalf of a customer eager for something new.  Taking spin on the Duplex (a popular drink of the time combining sweet and dry vermouth and orange bitters) Solon crafted what would quickly become a huge hit.  As Traverson carried the cocktail to the waiting partron he asked what it would be named.  Solon responded with “A Bronx.”  Seems Solon had recently been to the Bronx Zoo where he had seen lots of beasts he’d never seen before, which reminded him of the stories customers would tell him of the beasts they’d seen after imbibing a bit too much.  The name stuck, as you can see, and the rest is, as they say, history.

There are a lot of recipes for this cocktail so I’m eager to get to experiment with them all.  Below you’ll find Regan’s recipe, which is as good a starting place as any I suppose.

Bronx Cocktail (Joy of Mixology)
2 oz Gin
1/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
Orange Bitters to Taste
Orange Twist for Garnish
1) Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
2) Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
3) Garnish with an orange twist.