In 1934, the Bronx Cocktail was ranked #3 on the list of the ten most famous cocktails of the day. Right behind the Martini and the Manhattan. As a Canadian, it was surprising to find out that all five boroughs are well represented in cocktail format.
The invention of the Bronx Cocktail is steeped in controversy, as are so many like it. Joseph S. Sormani is the first to claim it.
“The Bronx Cocktail, strange to say, was invented in Philadelphia, of all places! There it might have remained in obscurity had it not been for one Joseph Sormani, a Bronx restaurateur, who discovered it in the Quaker City in 1905.”
I am of the belief that Joseph deserves the credit, as it quoted in the man’s obituary and sometimes history solidified by death is more than just a good story.
The second is Johnnie Solon, of the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel. History typically favours the famous.
According to Albert Stevens Crockett, historian of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the inventor of the Bronx cocktail was Johnnie Solon (or Solan). Solon, a pre-Prohibition bartender at the Manhattan hotel, was “popular as one of the best mixers behind its bar counter for most of the latter’s history.”This is Crockett’s account of Solon’s own story of the Creation of the Bronx:
The original recipe has been greatly distorted in the course of years, but here’s the original to guide you and to compare with the other recipes being used: Four parts of gin, one part of orange juice and one part of Italian Vermouth. Shake thoroughly in ice and serve.
The Bronx Cocktail is simply a “Perfect” Gin martini with a quarter shot of orange juice. It is also likely my personal favourite cocktail for those very reasons.
Bloody Bronx #2 represents the best of the classic Bronx. The best of the season. Along with more than a few personal adjustments.
3/4 oz Cinzano Bianco
1/4 oz Vya Sweet Aperitif Wine
2 oz Botanist Islay Gin
1/2 oz Boiron Blood Orange Puree
Add ingredients aside from the Blood Orange juice to stirring vessel. Stir well until very cold and strain into chilled martini glass. Express the lemon rind over the martini glass and place it inverted in the glass to create a chute. Slowly sink the blood orange juice/purée down the Martini and into the bottom of the glass. The Lemon Rind then used to stir the cocktail once in your guests hand.