Although Moonstruck does not actually feature pizza of any kind, both the trailer and the opening credits are set to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.” As in, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. And that line was stuck in my head for the entirety of our preparation, watching the film, and our discussion that followed.
As a result, I knew I had to somehow incorporate a pizza garnish on this cocktail. Had I seen this Las Vegas Weekly Pizza cocktail contest, I might’ve reconsidered. But something about the pizza in the sky was an image I couldn’t let go of, and thus, the Bagel Bite garnish.
Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport, Maine first took the food garnish to another level for me. Under a section on the menu called Fooze, they have margaritas, a bloody mary, and a mojito that come served in a pint glass with a baby back rib on top. The first time I had one, it came with a three-inch rib. The second time I had one, it came with a six-inch rib. Of course savory garnishes like olives, stuffed olives, and pearl onions are nothing new, and I’ve seen bloody marys served with any manner of garnishes, although my favorite to date is definitely this:
Some modern films set in New York are actually filmed in places like Providence, Rhode Island or Cleveland, Ohio. But Moonstruck is unapologetically the real deal, and based on the characters’ predilection for whisky, I decided this cocktail would be a Manhattan with a Bagel Bite on top, named for the neighborhood where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.
Brooklyn Heights Cocktail
- 1.5 ounces of whiskey
- .5 ounces sweet vermouth
- 3 shakes of angostura bitters
- Stir/shake over ice, serve in glass over ice
- Garnish with a fresh Bagel Bite. It’s okay if it accidentally falls in, but not necessarily recommended.
We used Bulleit Rye — I also like Rittenhouse and Knob Creek. Jim Beam is our go-to rail whiskey. For vermouth, right now we have on hand Noilly Prat Rouge, because once I was asked by a table what Noilly Prat was, and I bluffed, very embarrassed for not knowing but without the time to properly investigate. When I saw it at the liquor store and realized it was a sweet vermouth, I knew we needed to add it to our lineup.