Even though I quite like Gin and Vodka, I was never a fan of Martini until a couple of weeks back when I got a chance to sample Bronx,  a variation of this American cocktail, and even  got to assist the host and the unofficial bartender to shake up this unique concoction. Given my interest in the drink I did a bit of prodding and came up with some history.
There are two distinct beliefs about the invention of Bronx. Some say it was discovered in Philadelphia by a restaurateur named Sormani, while others say, Solan, a bartender of the luxurious hotel Waldorf-Astoria in New York, invented the Bronx. But all sources confirm that this drink was discovered sometimes during the early twentieth century.
The main ingredients that went into this drink were the Gin, Vermouth, both sweet & dry and Orange juice. Even though I always liked gin, it never occurred to me how it was made. Here I even got to know the secret behind the Gin which is a beverage containing alcohol, made by separating fermented fruits and grains. Interestingly this process of separation is known to all of us since school days’ chemistry lessons, distillation! The Gin is usually flavoured with juniper berries which are actually the cones of the coniferous plants that are fleshy and scaly, resembling a berry.

We used the London Dry Gin, which along with the berries also included small amounts of lemon, cinnamon bark, bitter orange peel and even anise. Vermouth, the mixer in this cocktail, had a bit of history associated with it too. It is said that Vermouth was first discovered in Italy by a person who was impressed with a German wine that was flavoured by Wermut, the German name for wormwood, a perennial herb. It is actually a fortified wine with brandy in it and flavoured with aromatic herbs and spices. Its actual ingredients, however, have never been known. Vermouth comes in two varieties, a sweeter one, which is also known as red vermouth, and an unsweetened one or the dry vermouth which is bitter in taste and is also called white vermouth.
With all ingredients in hand, it was time to shake up a Bronx…..007 style…with the cocktail glasses kept in the chiller to be chilled (which is a must before pouring the drink into it), a few crushed ice cubes went into the shaker followed by 45 ml of gin, 7 ml of both dry and sweet vermouth and finally 30 ml of orange juice. And the shake that followed created a sort of music that produced an exotic concoction in the shaker. Once ready, the drink was strained into the chilled glasses and garnished with an orange slice. One sip of that was truly bliss…….American style!!!!