Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Squid Mixes: Bensonhurst

A Bensonhurst combines rye, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur and Cynar.  It is a Manhattan variant created by bartender Chad Solomon of Cuffs and Buttons.  I got the recipe from a new book to my personal library: The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft by Gary Regan.  Bensonhurst is a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

My copy of The Joy of Mixology is the second edition of a book first published in 2003, one that has quickly become a must-have for cocktail enthusiasts.  Regan's target audience is the professional bartender but his book is filled with basic tips anyone can use.  It's also highly readable.  I don't intend to read it cover to cover but one could.  There are chapters on history, theory, technique and meaningful blurbs on the individual recipes, too.  As it is aimed for the pro, the emphasis is on pleasing the customer.  A lot of books (by food writers who are not professional bartenders) are rather pedantic - precision is paramount.  Regan is more flexible and forgiving.  I appreciate that.  Regan has fun charts detailing how drinks are related to each other.  I got the Bensonhurst from a list of cocktails that descend from the Manhattan, our house favorite.

As for the drink itself, my wife found it slightly too bitter.  I picked up more of the maraschino flavor.  I had to add a tiny bit of cherry brandy - 1/2 tsp - as we didn't have quite enough Luxardo.  The Bensonhurst is pleasant enough, though certainly no threat to my standard Manhattan recipe.


  1. I'm going to have to look up "The Joy of Mixology". That book sounds interesting. I'm not sure about the drink.