Manhattan’s in May … Bushwick? Where’s that?

by KeithP on May 24, 2011

Well, it took us hitting the GPS a few times and using the positioning chip in our cell phone for triangulation but I think we are in the right place.  Exiting the BQE on or around Flushing Avenue we head east a bit and making a hard right turn on Central find ourselves in no man’s land.  Not really, I see a few people poking about in the area we find ourselves parked. So why then are we here?  No surprise, you’ve likely guessed that it is to give Phil Ward’s Bushwick a try and to see, if as we expect, this drink holds great promise.

Phil, a former Death & Co. alum and now co-owner of Mayahuel has brought us full circle on our Manhattan/Brooklyn-hybrid journey.  Rye, check! Amer Picon, check!  Maraschino, check!  Vermouth … well, there’s the kicker.  Brooklyn dry or Manhattan sweet?  Phil keeps big brother in the mix and in so doing bridges the gap between the two drinks in a wholly simple, yet fantastic way.

Recipe created by Phil Ward while at Death & Co. (NYC) and adapted by theSpeakista

•    2 oz rye (Rittenhouse bonded was used)
•    3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica was used)
•    1/4 Amer Picon (for this go, I opted to not use my replica and used Amaro CioCiaro)
•    1/4 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo was used)
Garnish: none
Glass: cocktail coupe or cocktail glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Stir and stir and stir the mixture with plenty of ice until the glass becomes frosty cold or you are too tired (and the glass is frosty cold).  Strain the mixture into the serving glass and serve up.  Sit back and enjoy!

The verdict: What a perfect marriage.  It is as though that rough and tumble blue collar worker from the rough part of town fell in love with the girl from the Upper East Side and this is what was born.  As I have with most great re-inventions, simplicity is the key and Phil’s magic was connecting the two drinks; both are present and yet this drink is unique in its own right. Bold rye paired with a lovely vermouth adding a touch of sweetness to mixture; the amaro and the liqueur stabilize things a bit and add layers of fruit and herbal notes to the palate.  I can wax poetic enough about this drink … it is simple wonderful.

Oh my goodness!  Brooklyn, I love ya!  These nine drinks have taken me for a fantastic excursion into Manhattan cocktail (and sibling) bliss.  Surely there can’t be more to our little trip? Actually yes, and for our next stop we make our way over the Manhattan Bridge in search of a Little Italy.

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