The Bronx Cocktail on

The Bronx Cocktail (via StuartWebster@flickr)

Ah, the Bronx Cocktail. Since Hugh is a born and raised Bronx man, this was a must-try for us. Our research revealed some surprises: not only is it a classic, but it was also immensely popular in the first half of the twentieth century, trailing only the Manhattan and Martini as the cocktail of choice.

Here’s some interesting tidbits, both infamous and glorious, that you can use at your next cocktail party whilst preparing Bronxes for your guests:

  • In 1917, Bill W. (William Griffith Wilson), co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, consumed his first Bronx Cocktails as a World War I soldier. He did so at a dinner party thrown by the wealthy wives of other soldiers, a social situation that Bill found awkward and made him feel inferior. He found drinking them to be, at the time, transformative; he described it as removing a “strange barrier that had existed between me and all men and women.” This began his alcoholic episode which persisted until December 11, 1934.
  • In F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s first novel This Side of Paradise (published in 1920), Amory Blaine, the central character, orders a Bronx Cocktail after Rosalind, his fiance, breaks off their engagement.
  • In the 1934 film The Thin Man, sleuth Nick Charles (William Powell) says that a Bronx must always be shaken to “two-step time”:


As one of the older drinks in the Top 10 collection, give it a try. Maybe for the gin-fearful cocktail newcomer, this might be a great entrée into classic cocktail culture. Enjoy!