Everyone knows the Manhattan – but the other boroughs of New York City each had their own cocktail as well (with the possible exception of Staten Island). So what does that have to do with a drink called the Income Tax? Well, it is merely a Bronx with the addition of bitters. Ted Haigh’s brilliant Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails showcases the drink, but it appears in the Savoy as well, although Haigh calls for 2 dashes of bitters, while the Savoy wants you to use 1.
1.5 oz gin
.75 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica)
.75 oz dry vermouth (Contratto)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
The juice of 1/4 of an orange (fresh-squeezed, of course)
Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wheel if desired, or if you haven’t smooshed up all your oranges making juice).
As always, the quality of your vermouth is going to make a huge difference, so don’t skimp with Cinzano or any of that crap. With some good stuff on board, this drink has a nice blend of gin, bitter, and sweet notes (but cheap vermouth will ramp up the bitterness to unpleasant proportions). The orange juice plays a huge role, but not so much that orange flavor comes to the fore. In fact, your guests might wonder what is in it, if they don’t know. It’s not an unquestionably brilliant cocktail, but it is more than serviceable. Four livers.