There are whole library shelves out there full of cocktail books, which means it’s almost impossible for every craft cocktail bar, even the best of them, to have every obscure amaro or vermouth or bitter, let alone tincture, shrub, or syrup, to make every conceivable cocktail. As a result, the craft cocktail boom has seen the creation of a multitude of great cocktails constructed completely out of necessity to cope with the absence of one or more key ingredients. The Ballard Bridge is one such cocktail, invented by Brady Sprouse at Seattle’s Barnacle. According to an interview Brady gave to Whisky Advocate, he designed the cocktail when a customer asked for a Brooklyn and the bar didn’t have the all-important Amer Picon. Brady substituted Ramazzotti while also adding amaretto in place of the Luxardo maraschino liqueur.
The resulting cocktail is a wonderfully light and complex Manhattan-style concoction. The dry vermouth helps to cut some of the heavier, syrupy sweetness normally found in Manhattans while also amplifying some of the subtler notes in each ingredient, showcasing more of the spice and citrus with just enough sweetness to keep things enticing. Fair warning, this one is exceedingly drinkable. I’ve finished two in the time it took me to write about it.
1.5 oz rye whiskey
.75 oz. Dolin Dry vermouth
.75 oz. Ramazzotti amaro
1 barspoon (about a teaspoon) amaretto liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.