Bronx #1 (Original)

Bronx #1 (Original) image
Serve in
a Martini glass...
shot Rutte Dry Gin BUY
¾ shot Martini Extra Dry vermouth BUY
¾ shot Martini Rosso vermouth BUY
1 shot Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Display recipe in:
How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

Garnish:

Orange zest twist (discarded) & Luxardo Maraschino cherry

Comment:

A serious, dry, complex cocktail. Less bitter than many of its era, but still challenging to more tender modern palates.

Variant:

1/ Bloody Bronx - made with the juice of a blood orange. 2/ Golden Bronx - with the addition of an egg yolk. 3/ Silver Bronx - with the addition of egg white. 4/ Income Tax Cocktail - with two dashes Angostura bitters. Also see the Abbey Martini and Satan’s Whiskers.

Origin:

Created in 1906 by Johnny Solon, a bartender at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (the Empire State Building occupies the site today), and named after the newly opened Bronx Zoo. This is reputedly the first cocktail to use fruit juice.

In his 1935, The Old Waldorf-Astoria book, A.S. Crockett published what he says is “Solon’s own story of the Creation - of the Bronx: We had a cocktail in those days called the Duplex, which had a pretty fair demand. One day, I was making one for a customer when in came Traverson, head waiter of the Empire Room - the main dining room in the original Waldorf. A Duplex was composed of equal parts of French [dry] and Italian [sweet] Vermouth, shaken up with squeezed orange peel, or two dashes of Orange Bitters. Traverson said, “Why don’t you get up a new cocktail? I have a customer who says you can’t do it." "Can’t I?" I replied. “Well”, I finished the Duplex I was making, and a thought came to me. I poured into a mixing glass the equivalent of two jiggers of Gordon Gin. Then I filled the jigger with orange juice, so that it made one-third of orange and two-thirds of gin. Then into the mixture I put a dash of each Italian and French Vermouth, shaking the thing up. I didn’t taste it myself, but I poured it into a cocktail glass and handed it to Traverson and said: “You are a pretty good judge. (He was.) See what you think of that.” Traverson tasted it. Then he swallowed it whole.

“ ‘By God!’ he said, you’ve really got something new! That will make a big hit. Make me another and I will take it back to that customer in the dining room. Bet you’ll sell a lot of them. Have you got plenty of oranges? If you haven’t, you had better stock up, because I’m going to sell a lot of those cocktails during lunch.

"The demand for Bronx cocktails started that day. Pretty soon we were using a whole case of oranges a day. And then several cases.

"The name? No, it wasn’t really named directly after the borough or the river so-called. I had been at the Bronx Zoo a day or so before, and saw, of course, a lot of beasts I had never known. Customers used to tell me of the strange animals they saw after a lot of mixed drinks. So when Traverson said to me, as he started to take the drink in to the customer, “What’ll I tell him is the name of this drink?” I thought of those animals, and said: “Oh, you can tell him it is a ‘Bronx’.”

More about this cocktail

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