It's that time of year, who doesn't like the storied Red Sox Yankees rivalry? Or, more my speed on the horizon, Patriots and Jets. I got thinking about a cocktail version of this epic battle, which is almost too obvious, and yet fantastic. New York vs. Boston: The Bronx vs. The Ward 8 (I know the Manhattan would take all comers, but bear with me).
The Bronx has been attributed to Joseph Sormani who discovered it in Philadelphia (1905), and brought it back to his Bronx restaurants. His NY Times obituary even credited him with originating the drink. A more popular version has Johnnie Solon working his mixing prowess at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel pre-Prohibition (1899-1906) after being challenged by a customer to come up with a new drink. Soon, the hotel was going through at least a case of oranges a day, and Johnnie named the drink after the zoo. The Ward 8, similarly has multiple historical references, but most attribute the creation to bartender Tom Hussion at the venerable Locke-Ober cafe on Winter Street downtown (1898). Mr. Hussion celebrated the election victory by Martin Lomasney in the Boston's Eight Ward. I love that until it sadly closed recently you could actually still order and enjoy the drink there.
Enough history, let's get to the battle, first the recipes.
1.5 oz Gin
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz Dry Vermouth
.5 oz orange juice
2 oz Rye
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz orange juice
Both drinks are pretty simple variations on other classics, the Bronx a Perfect Martini with the addition of orange juice, the Ward 8 more or less a Whiskey Sour with grenadine. The Bronx is more complex with orange juice giving a silky character to the drink- the Ward 8 very tasty but more of an easy quaffing beverage.
Although I so want to pick my hometown, New York wins this one, let's just hope it's their only victory.
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