This maraschino laced member of the NYC themed family of Manhattan style drinks was developed by New York bartender Enzo Errico. Lying somewhere between a Brooklyn and Manhattan, this drink is a real people pleaser: simple, balanced, and satisfying. Like its predecessors, it’s easy to make with a simple bar, so if you enjoy any of its relatives there’s really no excuse not to give this short recipe a try. This is also an ideal alternative for those craving the flavors of an old fashioned with muddled orange, burt want to save face and sip on something a touch less blasphemous to fans of the dustier classics.
The Red Hook utilizes its familial rye whiskey base, paired with the bitter Italian vermouth Punt e Mes, and rounded out with a hefty dose of funky maraschino liqueur. The nose is full of spice and mineral from rye, plus sweet medicinal notes from the maraschino, which is less prominent on the nose than expected. Maraschino steps forward on first sip, delivering a little sweetness and a fruity funk alongside a subdued rye flavor. Punt e Mes brings a kick of bitterness and added strength, which really shines alongside the maraschino. The result is a balanced, well rounded, rye forward drink with a slightly sweet and satisfying cherry finish.
While it is difficult to find anything wrong with this drink, it’s greatest asset is also its potential downside: what makes it so palatable could possibly be perceived as boring. For folks craving something slightly more adventurous, we prefer this drink with a dash of Jamaican no. 2 bitters (or any fun bitters really) to help jazz it up. The drink’s sweetness level depends upon your maraschino. We use Maraska which is milder in flavor and contributes to an even profile, however the louder Luxardo might be more adventurous in this one. There are various maraschino liqueurs available so choose your bottle based on what you prefer.