Harlem Cocktail

Darcy O'Neil :: November 12, 2007 8:54 PM

MM-21It is another Mixology Monday and this months topic is Gin, which is being hosted by Jay at Oh Gosh! I've stated it before, and I must do so again, that gin is not one of my favorite spirits to work with. Statements like that will probably get my cocktail guru card revoked, but at least I'm honest. Sure, it is a great spirit in the cocktail world, and it makes tonic, an otherwise lame carbonated beverage, a heavenly summer thirst quencher. But, I haven't been able to fully wrap my head, and palate, around gin yet. Maybe once I'm through my brown spirit stage. Anyway, even though it is not high on my list, I'm always game for trying a new cocktail, even if it is gin based. Today's drink is the Harlem Cocktail.

When I need a little inspiration for a cocktail, I usually turn to Difford’s Guide or CocktailDB. Today I went with CocktailDB while looking for gin cocktails and came across the Harlem Cocktail. I'm not sure why it caught my attention, other than its possible relation to other cocktail's named after areas of New York (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, etc.).

The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that has remained relevant for a very long period of time. Others, like the Bronx or Brooklyn cocktail, aren’t as relevant, but most bartenders have come across them. The Harlem Cocktail, I’m not so sure.

The two other interesting features of this cocktail are that it uses Maraschino liqueur which is found in the original Manhattan and the Brooklyn cocktail. And, it uses pineapple, which kind of reminds me of the Algonquin cocktail, another New York landmark.

Harlem Cocktail

1½ oz Gin (Plymouth)
¾ oz Pineapple Juice
¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur

In a shaker muddle two or three pieces of fresh pineapple. Add gin, pineapple juice, Maraschino liqueur and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into an Old Fashion glass.

This cocktails seems a little discombobulated. The Maraschino is quite obvious to start and then the gin appears in the finish. The pineapple juice seems to be lost somewhere in the middle but helps to amplify the sweetness of the cocktail. This is one drink where adding too much Maraschino can really mess this one up.

Overall, not great, but not bad. The pineapple juice and Maraschino are sweet, so they end up making this cocktail a bit sweet and the gin doesn’t seem to cut it back. It is worth a try though.


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