The Manhattan was first stirred together in its eponymous New York City borough around 1880. Since then, it has spawned countless variations, many of which are classics in their own right. Those variations include a family of cocktails named for other NYC boroughs, like the Bronx and the Brooklyn. Dive even deeper into this family, and you find a third level of recipes representing specific neighborhoods within those boroughs.
The Greenpoint is a variation on the Brooklyn (rye, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Amer Picon). It was created at NYC’s legendary Milk & Honey bar by Michael McIlroy in 2006 and named for the Brooklyn nabe. It keeps the same general template of spirit, vermouth, liqueur and bitters, but with a couple changes. It calls for sweet vermouth rather than dry, and the bittersweet cherry-flavored maraschino and the French aperitif Amer Picon are removed in favor of yellow Chartreuse, a French herbal liqueur.
Yellow Chartreuse has been made by Carthusian Monks since 1838 using a closely guarded recipe of 130 herbs, plants and flowers. It, with notes of honey, citrus, anise and saffron, is sweeter and softer than its green sibling. In the Greenpoint cocktail, those flavors merge with rye whiskey’s spicy grain character and the herbal, floral sweet vermouth. Two types of bitters—aromatic and orange—provide additional flavor and structure.
The Greenpoint is just one example of the endless opportunities available to play with both the Manhattan and the Brooklyn. When you start with whiskey and vermouth, you’re starting in a good place. Add an interesting liqueur like yellow Chartreuse, and you get a modern-classic cocktail with bold character indicative of the neighborhood it evokes, a place where old-school community meets a flourishing creative scene.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse
- 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
Add the rye whiskey, yellow Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and both bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.