Just when I started to think that every combination of classic ingredients must have been tried, along comes a drink like the Red Hook. This variation on the classic Manhattan is a fairly recent creation, credited to Enzo Errico, bartender at Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey in New York. Named for the neighborhood in South Brooklyn–a former industrial zone with cobblestone streets and Civil War-era brick buildings, now yet another revitalized urban area–the Red Hook is a little more rugged than your typical Manhattan. The Punt y Mes has a bitter component, kind of a cross between sweet vermouth and Campari, that gives the drink a kind of serrated edge, but the healthy dose of maraschino manages to simultaneously tone down the Punt y Mes while adding its own complicated personality to the mix. In cautious balance on a base of rye whiskey, this flavor pairing manages to bring out the strengths in each modifier, without any one flavor becoming too dominant.
Cheers to Ben at Zig Zag Cafe for introducing me to this one. A dedicated Manhattan drinker and all-around rye-whiskey fiend, I think I’ve found a new favorite.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Punt y Mes
- 1/4 – 1/2 ounce maraschino, to taste
Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.