Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

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The Brooklyn Cocktail is an interesting variation on the classic Manhattan cocktail. It is every bit as delicious as the Manhattan. If you are a fan of the Manhattan you will enjoy this cocktail every bit as much.

Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn cocktail is sweet and rich with spicy rye notes. Dry vermouth is a crisp alternative to sweet vermouth. It’s crisp acidity and light fruitiness lighten and brighten this cocktail. Italian amaro stands in for the bitters in a Manhattan. The amaro delivers a more intense bitterness. Finally Maraschino liqueur balances with acidity and bitterness rounding out this delicious cocktail.

The Brooklyn is a variation on the Manhattan. Check out our guide to the great classic cocktail.

Check out our guide to the great classic cocktail.

Ingredients – Notes and Substitutions

This drink is a great one to study for ideas on how to create variation on your own drink. In this case two ingredients substitute for one. Dry vermouth replaces sweet vermouth. In order to compensate for the drier vermouth a little Maraschino liqueur is added.

There is some question about when and why the Italian (sweet) vermouth was swapped for French (dry) vermouth. Rye and dry vermouth aren’t an easy pairing. American rye leans on wood and baking spice notes while dry vermouth tends to be more herbal and grassy.

There are a couple ways you can resolve this problem. The standard approach when pairing difficult ingredients is to use a bridging ingredient. In this case that is the Amer Picon. The right bitter brings these flavours together. You can carefully pair the rye and vermouth you use finding a pair that works well together. Adjusting the ratios is another way to balance the flavor notes in this drink.

The other indirect substitution is the Amer Picon for the classic Manhattan’s Angostura. Amaro will generally be perceived to be more bitter than aromatic bitters in this setting. The sweetness of the Maraschino helps balance this as well.

Amer Picon is one of those frustrating ingredients to find. It is no longer available in most of North America and collectors are hunting down any remaining rare stock. This forces you to create your own variation on this from the beginning. Ramazotti or Amaro Montenegro are both acceptable substitutes. If you want to try making your own Amer Picon try this recipe.

Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn is a variation on the much more familiar Manhattan. Dry vermouth is substituted for sweet vermouth. This lifts and brightens the flavour. Maraschino liqueur adds a rich sweetness to balance the dry vermouth. The bitter element in this classic cocktail is Amer Picon. 

Course Cocktails, Drinks
Keyword classic cocktails
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1 drink
Author Jay Jordan


  • 2 oz American rye whiskey
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Amer Picon


  1. Pour everything in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir cocktail until is chilled well. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Recipe Notes

The Brooklyn cocktail is a great example of mixing ingredients to simulate the effects of a single ingredient. In this case a combination of dry vermouth and Maraschino are used to mimic sweet vermouth. Maraschino not only sweetens the dry vermouth it adds a rich mouth feel.

Amer Picon is a classic Italian amaro that stands in for the traditional bitters. It is a bitter orange aperitif made with gentian and cichona bark. Ramazotti, Amaro Montenegro and Amaro Nonino are all decent substitutes that are more widely available. In a pinch you can substitute a mixture of Angostura and Orange bitters.

For more like this check out our Guide to Classic Cocktails.

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