The Story Behind The Greenpoint

The Manhattan gets the Chartreuse treatment in the Greenpoint, a modern classic created by bartender Michael McIlroy in the mid-aughts at NYC cocktail institution Milk & Honey. At the time, American bartenders were newly armed with a slew of elevated liqueurs and amari, and eager to employ them in old builds to see what stuck. The result? Many, many tasty riffs on the drinks we know and love — especially the Manhattan.

The boroughs of NYC have long served as the inspiration for classic cocktail nomenclature. The 1880s saw the advent of the Manhattan, and the Brooklyn and the Bronx followed in the first few years of the 1900s. But many decades and Manhattan riffs later, America’s craft cocktail renaissance led bartenders to zoom in on the many beloved neighborhoods of the Big Apple for inspiration. It started with fellow Milk & Honey alum Vincenzo Errico’s Red Hook in 2003, made with rye, Maraschino liqueur, and Punt e Mes. Audrey Saunders invented her Cynar-spiked Little Italy in 2005, and McIlroy’s Greenpoint came along soon after, though reports of its exact birth year are conflicting (some say 2005 and others claim it was 2006). According to Robert Simonson’s 2022 book “Modern Classic Cocktails,” in McIlroy’s pursuit of making his own neighborhood cocktail, “he drew on the Brooklyn area where he then lived, Greenpoint, and the famously green French liqueur, Chartreuse.” He wound up using yellow Chartreuse in the version that made it on the Milk & Honey menu, and since there’s no Yellowpoint neighborhood in the borough, McIlroy stuck with the more verdant name.

The Greenpoint itself bears a similar profile to a classic Manhattan, as the rye’s spice and inherent dryness still stand front and center. But its complementary ingredients make the drink more delicate and less austere: a half- ounce of yellow Chartreuse brings floral hints of lemon pith, pine, and cedar into the bouquet. And on the palate, the liqueur conjures up rich notes of cherries and candied oranges.


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ½ ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Garnish: lemon twist


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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(5 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 220
Updated: 2024-05-09

Greenpoint Recipe Video