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Bronx Cocktail

Move over Manhattan! See you later Brooklyn! The Bronx isn’t just one of New York City’s most culturally diverse boroughs. It’s also a drink that blends gin with orange juice and two different vermouths. The result is a classic gin cocktail that’s as easy to sip as it is to craft.

Bronx Cocktail with Black Background

The Bronx holds a special place in our hearts. Not only is it the home of the Yankees and some of the best Italian food on the west side of the Atlantic, but it’s also the borough where Mindi’s mom lives.

We’re not alone. Songs have even been written about the northern borough.

Bronx Cocktail Up Close with Black Background
This Bronx cocktail wasn’t what we expected.

It’s only logical that we’d want to try a cocktail named after the NYC borough that we love despite its admittedly sordid reputation. And we’re nothing if not logical.

So what did we think? To be honest, the Bronx cocktail wasn’t what we expected. It’s much more mellow than the rough and ready borough located north of the Harlem River with flavors that are as slow as a drive on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

What Is The Bronx Cocktail?

Bronx Cocktail with White Background
Will the Bronx cocktail meet your expectations?

The Bronx is a classic pre-prohibition cocktail crafted with gin, orange juice, orange bitters and equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth. Some mixologists add lemon juice to the classic recipe (presumably to kick up the drink’s acidity) but that addition is optional.

While the Bronx cocktail isn’t so famous today, it rivaled both the Martini and Manhattan in terms of popularity a century ago – but don’t make assumptions about how the cocktails compare. With an infusion of freshly squeezed orange juice, the Bronx is fruitier and easier to sip compared to those two beverage behemoths.

Discover more of our favorite Pre-Prohibition cocktails.

History Of The Bronx Cocktail

Bronx Cocktail on Ledge
Ironically, the Bronx cocktail’s roots probably aren’t in the Bronx.

The Bronx was probably invented in Manhattan unless it was invented in Philadelphia or maybe even the Bronx. While nobody is exactly certain where it was invented, most cocktail historians attribute the Bronx’s creation to Johnny Solon, a bartender who worked at Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel during the first decade of the 20th century.

Legend has it that Solon chose the name in honor of the relatively new Bronx Zoo. The cocktail later achieved pop culture status when it was referenced in The Thin Man.

Ingredients

Bronx Cocktail Ingredients
Our Bronx cocktail recipe includes gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and an orange.

You’ll need to raid your home bar to craft a Bronx cocktail considering its diverse ingredient list:

  • Dry Gin
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Orange Bitters
  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Peel (garnish)
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)

You’ll also need to buy an orange for both its juice and peel.

Gin

Citadelle Citron Blue Bottle on White Background
Citadelle dry gin hails from France.

While any quality dry gin will work in this recipe, we like to use Citadelle dry gin from France. Produced in Cognac, the premium gin features 19 botanicals and has an ABV of 44%.

Discover our favorite gin cocktails.

Dry Vermouth

Noilly Prat White Vermouth Bottle
Noilly Prat dry vermouth also hails from France.

Unlike sweet vermouth which is typically ruby red and produced in Italy, dry vermouth is white with French roots. Most people have a bottle of the fortified wine at home since it’s a mandatory martini ingredient.

We purchased a bottle of Noilly Prat dry vermouth since it’s from France instead of Italy. As a bonus, this dry vermouth’s recipe has 14 botanicals. It has an ABV of 18%.

Discover our favorite dry vermouth cocktails.

Sweet Vermouth

Bottle of Carpano Sweet Vermouth
Carpano Classico hails from Italy.

Since sweet vermouth is featured in so many cocktails, you probably have a bottle in your cabinet. The bottle in our cabinet happens to be Carpano Classico, so that’s what we used to craft this cocktail. This Italian liquor has a secret recipe, a deep ruby shade and an ABV of 16%.

Discover our favorite sweet vermouth cocktails.

Orange Bitters

Orange Bitters Bottle
Angostura orange bitters hails from Trinidad.

Angostura orange bitters adds a spicy orange flavor to diverse cocktails including the Bijou, Emerald and Revolver. Made with orange extracts and spices, a little bit goes a long way since these bitters have a 28% ABV.

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

Juicing an Orange
Squeezing fresh orange juice is a simple task that provides big rewards.

While you could hypothetically buy orange juice at your local market, using freshly squeezed orange juice is the way to go in the Bronx recipe. Taking the extra step of squeezing the juice results in a cocktail that tastes both sweeter and fresher than Bronx cocktails crafted with commodity orange juice.

How To Craft A Bronx Cocktail

Bronx Cocktail Mise en Place
We were ready to craft a Bronx cocktail once we organized these ingredients and basic bar tools.

The first step is to measure the gin, dry vermouth sweet vermouth and orange juice. As you measure them, pour each directly into a shaker. We use a Japanese jigger to ensure accurate measurements and make clean pours.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Orange Juice for a Bronx Cocktail
Accurate measurements result in better cocktails.

The next step is to add a dash of orange bitters.

Adding Orange Bitters to a Bronx Cocktail
One dash of orange bitters is enough when crafting a Bronx cocktail.

Add ice to the shaker and shake until the liquids are chilled and combined – approximately 20 seconds. We use a Boston shaker for this step.

Strain the cocktail into a coupe or martini glass.

Straining a Bronx Cocktail
Our excitement built as we strained this Bronx cocktail into a coupe glass.

Garnish with an orange twist.

Bronx Cocktail with White Background from Above
An orange twist provides the Bronx cocktail’s final touch.

All that’s left to do is sip and enjoy. We recommend doing both while eating brunch or watching the sun set.

Variations

Crafted Bronx Cocktail
There’s only one way to find out if you’re a Bronx cocktail fan or if you want to give it a Bronx cheer.

The Bronx may or may not hit your cocktail sweet spot. Here are some ideas if you want to modify the classic gin cocktail’s recipe:

  • Add a squirt of lemon juice to craft a tarter, dare we say more balanced, Bronx cocktail.
  • Omit the orange juice to craft a Perfect Martini cocktail.
  • Replace the orange juice with pineapple juice to craft a Queens cocktail.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bronx cocktail?

The Bronx is a classic cocktail crafted with dry gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and orange juice. An orange twist completes the Bronx cocktail.

Where was the Bronx cocktail invented?

The Bronx cocktail was probably invented in Manhattan.

What are the ingredients in a Bronx cocktail?

Dry Gin, Dry Vermouth, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters, Orange Juice, Orange Peel (garnish) and Ice Cubes (for shaking)

Is the Bronx cocktail shaken or stirred?

The Bronx cocktail is shaken, not stirred.

What type of glass is best for the Bronx cocktail?

We like to serve this cocktail in a coupe glass but you could use a small martini glass instead.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Bronx Cocktail with White Background
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5 from 1 vote

Bronx Recipe

Follow our Bronx cocktail recipe and craft the classic gin cocktail at home in just a few minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 195kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • orange peel (garnish)
  • ice cubes (for shaking)

Instructions

  • Pour gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth and orange juice into a shaker.
  • Add a dash of orange bitters.
  • Add several ice cubes and shake vigorously until liquids are chilled and mixed.
  • Strain into a coupe glass or small martini glass.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.

Notes

  • Add fresh lemon juice if you prefer imbibing tarter cocktails.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: March 3, 2023

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