Bushwick Cocktail


Published: 01/31/24

bushwick cocktail
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The Bushwick cocktail is a modern twist on the classic Brooklyn cocktail. This drink was created in 2009 by Phil Ward, a renowned bartender, and mixologist at Mayahuel, a now-closed but once-iconic bar in New York City that celebrated the art of tequila and mezcal.

The Bushwick cocktail is crafted from a base of rye whiskey, which provides a spicy and robust foundation. To this, sweet vermouth is added, introducing a layer of herbal sweetness that complements the whiskey’s warmth. Maraschino liqueur contributes a subtle cherry flavor, adding complexity and depth to the drink. Finally, Amer Picon, a bitter French aperitif, is incorporated, bringing a unique orange and gently bitter note that balances the cocktail’s sweetness. Due to the rarity of Amer Picon outside of France, Phil Ward recommends Amaro Lucano as an accessible and suitable substitute, offering a slightly different but equally engaging bitterness and herbal complexity.

This cocktail was born out of Phil Ward’s desire to pay tribute to the rich cocktail heritage of New York City while also acknowledging the dynamic changes occurring within its neighborhoods. By naming the drink after Bushwick, a neighborhood experiencing significant transformation during the late 2000s, Ward encapsulated the essence of renewal and innovation. This choice of name reflects not only the physical changes within the city but also the evolving tastes and preferences of its inhabitants, who were increasingly seeking out unique and sophisticated drinking experiences.

The creation of the Bushwick cocktail in 2009 at Mayahuel coincided with a broader revival of interest in classic cocktails and the craft of mixology. This period saw a renaissance in cocktail culture, with bartenders and mixologists experimenting with traditional recipes and introducing contemporary twists. This cocktail, with its foundation in the classic Brooklyn, represents this trend perfectly. By adapting a classic, Ward demonstrated how traditional elements could be reimagined to create a new and exciting cocktail.

Moreover, the choice of Bushwick as the namesake for this cocktail highlights the importance of place in the creation and identity of a cocktail. Bushwick, once known for its industrial landscape, has transformed into a vibrant, artistic community, symbolizing the city’s continual evolution. In this sense, the Bushwick cocktail captures the spirit of innovation and change that characterizes both New York City’s cocktail scene and its neighborhoods.

Bushwick Cocktail Recipe

  1. 60 ml rye whiskey

  2. 22.5 ml sweet vermouth

  3. 7.5 ml Amer Picon

  4. 7.5 ml maraschino liqueur

  5. Ice

the bushwick cocktail

How to Make a Bushwick Cocktail

  1. Add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon into a mixing glass.

  2. Add ice and stir for 10 seconds, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

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