The classic Manhattan has inspired numerous variations since its inception in the late-1800s, like the Brooklyn, which first appeared in Jacques Straub’s “Drinks” in 1908. The Brooklyn features rye whiskey, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur and Amer Picon, a French aperitif that’s difficult to source in the U.S. and often requires a substitute ingredient that approximates its flavor. Despite its fussy nature, the Brooklyn has spawned its own riffs, including neighborhood-specific drinks like the Greenpoint and Red Hook.
The Red Hook calls for rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur and Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth whose name translates to “point and a half,” referring to the bottle containing one point of sweetness and one point of bitterness. The cocktail was created by Vincenzo Errico at the famed Milk & Honey bar in 2003 and has become one of the most enduring contemporary cocktails, popping up at bars across the country.
With its well-balanced profile that merges a stout whiskey base with bittersweet vermouth and dry cherry liqueur, the Red Hook has a complex flavor that belies its subtle twist on the classic Manhattan and Brooklyn. Make one for yourself, and you will understand why this drink continues its reign on cocktail menus long after it was first stirred into existence.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce Punt e Mes
Garnish: maraschino cherry
Add the rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur and Punt e Mes into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Manhattan: The classic whiskey cocktail that started it all.
Brooklyn: A Manhattan riff that spurred several riffs of its own.
Greenpoint: A Brooklyn variation that brings yellow Chartreuse to the party.
Large-Format Red Hook: The Red Hook, but batched for a crowd.