Bronx – Classic Hugo Ensslin Recipe

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Bronx Cocktail (Hugo Ensslin)

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






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Learn how to make the original Bronx Cocktail, invented by Hugo Ensslin and printed in the 1917 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks.


  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 2 oz Dry Gin


  • Technique: Saxe Soda Shake
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add one medium or two small ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake until the ice fully melts.
  • Without a strainer, pour the chilled and aerated drink into a glass.


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History of the Bronx Cocktail

The Bronx cocktail is named after the famous neighborhood in New York. There are three classic versions of this cocktail. The Oldest version is from William Boothby’s 1908 book “The World’s Drinks and how to mix them.” He credits a man named Billy Malloy of Pittsburg, PA, for inventing the Bronx Cocktail. The second is the Waldorf-Astoria’s recipe, like Boothby’s recipe, just minus the orange juice. The Third is from Hugo Ensslin (this one) of the Hotel Wallick, and it is like the Boothby recipe but minus the orange bitters.

The original Boothby recipe is 1 oz each of gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz of orange juice, and a couple of dashes of orange bitters, but if you look online today, the most recipe is this one; The Hugo Ensslin recipe. The Hugo Ensslin recipe turns the cocktail into a medium martini and ups the amount of orange juice. The Waldorf-Astoria recipe is just a medium martini with a different name. This version cuts the more intense herbal flavors of the original and makes the drink a bit more fruity and drinkable.

The Hotel Wallick History.

Built in the 1880s as the “Hotel Cadillac” it was eventually sold to the Wallick brothers in 1905. Located on 43rd and Broadway (Times Square), the Hotel Cadillac branded itself as an exciting place for food, drinks, and entertainment. In 1913 the Wallick Brothers changed the name to “Hotel Wallick”, and relaunched the hotel where It became famous for its burlesque and cabaret shows. Unlike other New York hotels with famous bartenders that tended to appeal to older wealthy guest, the Hotel Wallick was a young businessman’s party hotel. It was during this period that many of Hugo’s famous cocktails such as the aviation, honeymoon, and paradise cocktail were invented. In 1919 (beginnings of prohibition) the hotel sold knowing its drunken party business was over and was renamed “The Cadillac” by its new owners. In 1933 prohibition was repealed but the country was already dealing with the Great Depression. While the hotel had managed to survive prohibition it was unable to weather the depression and closed its doors in 1939. The building was demolished in 1940.

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