Six Tips To Craft The Perfect Bushwick Cocktail At Home
If you want a taste of the bustling cityscape of New York in your cocktail glass, a Bushwick is the perfect drink for you. This American city is a dynamic and fast moving centre, full of the hustle of an extraordinarily modern metropolis, and its drinking game is no different. If Jay-Z and Rihanna are to be believed, New York is the city where dreams are made of so sipping on a cocktail that reminds you of the big apple is indeed a rather cool affair.
The story of the Bushwick cocktail is rooted in the city’s landscape too. It was crafted in 2009 by bartender Phil Ward at a bar in New York City’s East Village and was named after a neighbourhood in Brooklyn. The drink itself is a riff on the Brooklyn cocktail and uses sweet vermouth instead of the dry one used to craft the older signature mix. Made out of rye whisky, maraschino cherries and sweet vermouth, the Bushwick is a modern, flavour-forward drink full of the intensity of whisky, the sweetness of the vermouth and the aromas of the amer picon, an elegant French aperitif. Crafting the Bushwick cocktail means using some serious mixology skills to arrive at a perfect flavour balance.
Next time you host a party at home and show off your modern bartending skills, here are some tips you can employ to craft a perfect Bushwick cocktail:
Curate Bold Flavours
The ingredients required to make a Bushwick are relatively straightforward. You need sweet vermouth, bitters, rye whisky and cherries, all of which are very potently flavoured. The trick with crafting a good Bushwick is to highlight these flavours and use every ingredient generously to capture their bold and vibrant profiles. Even the colour of the cocktail is a deep, intense amber, sometimes even leaning towards a maroonish hue, which is indicative of its rather strong flavour. So make all your ingredients shine while mixing a perfect Bushwick cocktail.
Sourcing Amer Picon
One of the trickiest ingredients to obtain while making Bushwick is the French aperitif Amer Picon. If you cannot source a good bottle, you can use Amaro Lucano instead or simply go for Angostura bitters which will introduce the required tartness into the drink. This bitterness is essential to cut through the sweetness of the vermouth and cherries. You can also indulge in a DIY project and craft your own Amer Picon at home to hit the flavour notes right.
Another ingredient that ought to be sourced cleverly is whisky. While this cocktail goes bold with the flavours of its mixers, the base remains a good rye whisky or quality bourbon. So, make sure you are able to procure a bottle of delicious rye whisky which carries a potent whiff and some intense flavour notes that are able to highlight themselves despite the inclusion of myriad ingredients that go into the preparation of this cocktail.
The Bushwick emerged as a riff on the Brooklyn cocktail which means it was a product of some really intelligent experimentation. A lot of times, home mixology means giving yourself a free hand with blending varied flavours to arrive at a mix that suits your taste buds. If you feel like the maraschino liqueur is a tad too sweet, reduce its volume or simply up the amount of whisky you add to the cocktail from a 30 ml to a 45 ml pour in order to balance the excessively saccharine notes and craft your preferred blend.
Jazz Up The Bar
One of the ways in which you can enjoy the Bushwick cocktail is by giving your home bar a New York-style appeal. The drink celebrates the Bushwick neighbourhood so jazz up your bar with modern furnishings, tall bar stools, vibrant bar accessories and glassware that all scream New York.
Forego The Garnish
The Bushwick neighbourhood is located in Brooklyn which means it is just as fast-paced and vibrant. Everything here is on the go, even the cocktail culture is quick, yet stylish. When you are crafting a drink which celebrates this pace, forgo an elaborate garnish and serve the sweet drink in a coupe or stemmed glass. Its hue will be enough of a highlight, and its taste the perfect showstopper required for a quick flavour-forward tipple without a gaudy flourish.