The Story Behind The The Red Hook

When the modern cocktail renaissance kicked off, few drinks received as much riffage as the Manhattan. There was the Little Italy, the Greenpoint, and the one that started it all, the Red Hook. Built with rye whiskey, Maraschino liqueur, and Punt e Mes, the stirred drink has arguably become the most famous of its early-aughts cohorts.

Shortly after creating the Enzoni while working at London’s Match Bar, Neapolitan bartender Vincenzo Errico moved to New York to work at the late Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey. There, he invented the Red Hook in 2003, igniting the barrage of neighborhood-named Manhattan riffs to come. Errico now owns and operates cocktail bar L’Arte Fatto on the Italian island of Ischia. But as writer Robert Simonson puts it in his 2022 book “Modern Classic Cocktails,” “like the Negroni, [the Red Hook] remains more popular in the United States than in Italy.”

The Red Hook is essentially a cross between a Manhattan and a Brooklyn, the latter of which contains Maraschino liqueur. The drink’s third ingredient, Punt e Mes, is an Italian vermouth that bears a profile often likened to a cross between sweet vermouth and amaro. That said, the Punt e Mes actually keeps the cocktail from dipping into too-sweet territory. For the Maraschino liqueur, we recommend Luxardo, and for the rye, we suggest using a balanced, budget-friendly expression like Old Overholt or Rittenhouse.


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ½ ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • ½ ounce Punt e Mes
  • Garnish: brandied cocktail cherry


  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 brandied cherry.

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Yield: 1
Calories: 205
Updated: 2024-05-02

The Red Hook