“Solon was mixing a popular cocktail, the Duplex, when a head waiter at the hotel leaned across the bar and issued a challenge: “Why don’t you get up a new cocktail?” asked the tempter in the tones of a dare. “I have a customer who says you can’t do it.”
“Can’t I?” Replied Solon, who finished the Duplex and prepared to meet the challenge, starting with “the equivalent of two jiggers of Gordon Gin” poured into a mixing glass. He then filled “the jigger with orange juice so that it made one third orange juice and two thirds gin.” He added a dash each of Italian and French vermouths and shook the “thing” up.
Solon swore he did not taste the result, but immediately “poured it into a cocktail glass and handed it” to his challenger, who downed the drink “whole.” “By God! You’ve really got something new” he exclaimed, “A big hit.”
Now, anytime we see orange juice in a cocktail, we immediately start thinking about Harvey Wallbangers and Sexes on Beaches. Not exactly the pinnacle of cocktail culture. But in the Bronx cocktail, you’ve got very different acid and sugar profiles from three different mixers playing against the dry, botanical London Dry gin, which makes the Bronx cocktail a drink that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.