Third Rail – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

There is just one other rum cocktail of the aromatic type which may be worth mentioning. Actually it is merely a RUM BRONX. However, it is sometimes called the 


1 part French Vermouth 

1 part Italian Vermouth

1 part Orange Juice 

6 parts Gold Label Rum 

Shake well with cracked ice. Decorate with a twist of orange peel. Some recipes call for gin instead of rum and, of course, the drink then becomes a Bronx, pure and simple.

There’s not a lot about this cocktail around, and very few of the recipes link up. The drink itself is named after the third rail on tracks for electric trains, the rail that carries all the charge, and used to frequently fry drunk people who should’ve known better. I guess the idea is that the drink is ‘electrifying’ sadly this recipe is far from it.

The recipe that pops up in the Savoy Guide is a mix of white rum, absinthe, calvados and cognac and sounds a lot more potent than this Bronx wannabe, which falls sadly flat, due to the orange. I think if you were to swap out the juice for Cointreau, or something similar it would be a vastly better drink, unfortunately in small amounts orange juice doesn’t have the acidity to stand up to the others, and merely sweetens and makes things taste watery to me.

Last night at work we had a little experiment with this, getting pink lady, granny smith, orange, pink grapefruit and watermelon juices, and getting them to the same acidity as lime juice using citric and malic acid powder, then using them back in classic cocktails instead of lime and lemon juice. Out of all of them the watermelon and pink lady apple juice worked the best, the orange juice was interesting, if a little weird, but I also suspect would work much better in this drink than just orange juice, as that wateriness orange juice brings to cocktails for me was well gone.

I’m not a fan of this drink, and I think for the same reason I’ve held off making a Bronx so far this year, that being that there’s a fair bit to write about it due to its association with the Waldorf, and because I’m fairly sure I’m going to find it as uninspiring as this drink.