Before Carrie Bradshaw made the Cosmopolitan famous, there was The Bronx cocktail. Made with gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and a splash of orange juice, the sweet and spicy drink was one of the most popular orders from the Waldorf Astoria's famous bar, Peacock Alley, where Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter used to throw 'em back. As the legend according to the book goes, former barman John "Curley" O'Connor dreamed it up when a waiter challenged him to create a new beverage on the spot.
And it's one of dozens of recipes featured in The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book ($16; amazon.com), a newly refurbished wine and spirits guide that includes how-tos and interesting trivia and historical facts about the social landscape at the legendary N.Y.C. hotel. "Though it contains more than a fair amount of orange juice, The Bronx was created to be a daily lunchtime treat," says author and beverage manager Frank Caiafa. Read on for the recipe to beat the midday slump.
1½ oz Beefeater London dry gin ($16; liquorama.net)
1/2 oz Cinzano Rosso sweet vermouth ($10; moraswines.com)
1/2 oz Noilly Prat extra dry vermouth ($12; compasswines.com)
1 oz orange juice
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6, optional ($12; amazon.com)
Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.