8 Iconic New York Cocktails

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New York, New York has played home to America’s drinking culture seemingly since cocktails began gracing slick wood bar tops. From classics like the aptly named Manhattan to modern inventions that have become ubiquitous on bar menus around the world such as The Penicillin and the Cosmopolitan, the Big Apple has acted as the birthplace for many of the United States’ best mixed drinks.

There are plenty of drinks that can cite New York as their provenance, but these are the drinks that have become synonymous with the Empire City and have gone on to populate bills of fare around the globe:


Manhattan cocktail - The Spruce Eats


  • 2oz rye whisky
  • 1/2oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 Maraschino cherry

Pour all the ingredients (minus the cherry) into a cocktail glass. Now add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

New York Sour

New York Sour cocktail - Prestige Decanters


  • 2oz rye whiskey
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 1oz fresh lemon juice
  • 5oz red wine

Pour the whiskey, syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake it up. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Now slowly pour the red wine over the back of a spoon so it floats. 

Red Hook

Redhook cocktail - Difford's Guide


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, Punt e Mes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur, to taste

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice, and stir. Strain into a coupe glass.


Brooklyn cocktail - Whisky Advocate


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur 
  • 1/4 ounce Amer Picon, or Amaro CioCiaro if unavailable

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass.


Bronx Cocktail


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Dolin blanc
  • 3/4 ounce orange juice, fresh
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish: orange peel

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.


Cosmopolitan Cocktail - Food52


  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka Citron

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and double strain into large cocktail glass. Serve straight up and and garnish with lime wedge or lemon slice.

The Penicillin

The Penicillin - Drink Magazine Asia


  • 2 oz Blended scotch 
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Honey-ginger syrup*
  • 1/4 oz Islay single-malt scotch
  • Garnish: Candied ginger

Add the blended scotch, juice and syrup into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with the single-malt scotch. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

*Honey-ginger syrup: Combine 1 cup honey, 1 6-inch piece of peeled and thinly sliced ginger and 1 cup water in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to steep overnight. Strain with a cheesecloth.

Bloody Mary (Either Here Or In Paris)



  • 4.5 cl/1 jigger (3 parts) Vodka
  • 9 cl/3 oz (6 parts) Tomato juice
  • 1.5 cl/1 tbsp (1 part) Lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper

Stirring gently, pour all ingredients into highball glass. Garnish.