[Photo: Jessica Leibowitz]
What, you thought Manhattan was the only borough of New York that had a drink named after it? We’ll get to the Brooklyn later, but Staten Island and Queens? Well, sorry–better luck next time.
Like its namesake, The Bronx cocktail has taken a beating over the years. It all started out well (with origins at the old Waldorf-Astoria back when that was the place to drink), but when Prohibition hit, the Bronx became … popular. This was a bad thing, you see, because all sorts of rotgut gin were being mixed into cocktails, and the Bronx was one of those that had enough other stuff in it to somewhat obscure the vile taste of the booze. By the time Repeal rolled around, many drinkers had lost a few layers of stomach lining to Bronxes and others of its ilk. As a result, it was remembered with so much ill will that the drink practically disappeared.
Let’s be honest: The Bronx is unlikely to be anyone’s favorite drink. But while it’s not exactly bottled excitement, The Bronx is actually pretty good, and surprisingly refreshing. Be sure to use fresh-squeezed orange juice (and if you add a dash or two of Angostura bitters, you’ve got a somewhat tastier Income Tax Cocktail on your hands), and approach it with an open mind. There are some things from the past worth revisiting from time to time.