Duplex – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Parent of the original Bronx. Johnnie Solon, inventor of the latter, was making a Duplex, as earlier told, when he was challenged to create a new cocktail, and evolved the Bronx. 

Two dashes Orange Bitters, or two squeezes of Orange Peel 

One-half Italian Vermuth 

One-half French Vermuth

I remember about 18 years ago working in a bar and having an American tourist ask me if I knew how to make a Bronx, its literally the only time in 25 years of working in bars that I’ve been asked for this drink, but for some reason it’s a recipe that’s stuck in my head, the story behind its creation, which is Waldorf legend revolves around the above cocktail as recorded in the guide, only the difference being the addition of gin and orange juice.

The above drink, its origin story is damn nice, but all down to the vermouth, like so many of these Waldorf drinks. With nothing else to hide behind the vermouth is rather naked, with the orange bitters only just peaking through the heavy Antica Formula I use for my Italian.

As with a lot of recipes I wonder if dashes were bigger 80 years ago, or if orange bitters, a very common ingredient in the Waldorf was of a punchier recipe than the Angostura brand I use at home.

Its also interesting that it offers the zest oil as an alternative to bitters, I love the oil you get from firm skinned oranges, and often prefer a twist of this instead of lemon on a martini, so for this drink I did both – you can just see droplets of oil on top in the lower half of the cocktail.

Ever since I started drinking Martini’s I began to understand this oil as an integral part of the drink, but never in a book have I seen it ‘recipied’ as such.

If you like vermouth, this drink is well worth a try, and if the Waldorf is to be believed, it’s the precursor for a drink that for a long time was one of the world’s most popular.