Jamaica Bay

Here is a cocktail that would be suitable to sip on a Caribbean Island or an island bounded by the Hudson and East Rivers. It's sort of a Manhattan with dark Jamaican rum in the place of whiskey (plus a couple of other modifications). Liquor.com's Drinkwire challenged us to create a cocktail that uses rum in the place of whiskey and we were happy to take on the task.

We named the Jamaica Bay cocktail after a body of water that is near Manhattan, but far enough away that you don't feel the city. Jamaica Bay is on the south side of Long Island and straddles two of Manhattan's boroughs -  Brooklyn and Queens. Much of the bay is a wildlife refuge and part of the National Park System. It can be reach via the New York City subway system, yet it's a place for birding, nature walks, kayaking, and even camping in a tiny house.

The Cocktail Artists like their Manhattans perfect - meaning with both sweet and dry vermouth. Well, actually, we use blanc vermouth and sweet vermouth (so is that semi-perfect?). At any rate, we made this riff on the Manhattan using dry vermouth and replaced the sweet vermouth with the orange liqueur Grand Marnier. It took a bit of trial and error to get the proportions just right, and we also decided that (just like with our Manhattan) cherry bitters work well here. The rum we chose is Appleton Estate 12 Year Jamaican Rum. This makes for an easy swap with the bourbon (that we typically use for our Manhattan) since it's a smooth blend of dark rum aged in American oak barrels.

From Jamaica Bay you can see part of the Manhattan skyline. Perhaps when you drink our Jamaica Bay cocktail you'll be reminded of Manhattan, but you're also going to get a sense of that lovely island in the Caribbean that produces some very nice rum.


Jamaica Bay

2 ounces dark Jamaican rum (Appleton Estate 12 Year)
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce dry vermouth (Dolin)
2-3 dashes cherry bitters (Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry Bitters)

Put all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with an orange peel and a brandied cherry.

Jamaica Bay Cocktail and its ingredients

Sunset on the Bay - original watercolor painting by The Cocktail Artist

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