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Bronx Cocktail // A 1930s Recipe for a late 19th Century/Early 20th Century Cocktail

The fruity Bronx cocktail which was ranked the third ‘Most Famous Cocktail in the World’ in 1934, is still one of the most famous Martini cocktails about today. Depending upon who you ask, it was either created by either Johnnie Solan, a pre-prohibition bartender at the Manhatten Hotel, or Joseph S. Sormani, a Bronx restauranteur. .
It was popularlised further in 1934 after it was featured in the movie The Thin Man, and was also the first ‘remembered’ drink of Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous who was given a Bronx cocktail by a “socialite” at a party in 1918 and triggered the onset of his alcohol addiction. There’s a lot of history to this little martini!
Original Recipe: 'Bronx' (Book 5, 1936)
Speed: 3 mins. | Serves: 1


  • 60 ml Gin

  • 30 ml Orange Juice

  • 30ml Vermouth (French for a dry cocktail; Italian for a sweet one – your choice)



1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with sufficient ice (around a cup's worth), secure and shake for a minute or so.

2. Pour into a glass once the mixture is properly iced.

3. If sweet (using Italian vermouth), add a cocktail stick with a maraschino cherry stuck through.

If dry (using French vermouth), add a cocktail stick with an olive, stuffed olive or pickled onion stuck through.

4. Serve at once.


Note: Sticking to brands that were available at the turn of the 19th Century and 1930s, we used the following:

Gordon's Gin (1769)

Martini Vermouth, Rosso (1863)

Cocktail cherries by Bennett Opie Ltd. 'Opies', (1880)


Original Recipe for 'Bronx'

'BOOK 5': Cookery Illustrated and Household Management (1936)

By: Elizabeth Craig

Publisher: Odhams Press Limited (Long Acre, London, W.C.2, England, U.K.)

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