Tuxedo Cocktail

1 oz Old Tom Gin
1 oz Dry vermouth
1 ds Maraschino Liqueur (or 2)
1 ds Absinthe
2 ds Orange bitters (or 3)
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and a lemon zest twist.
This is effectively the same as Savoy's Tuxedo #2 (but see note below). PDT has 2 Plymouth Gin, 1.5 Dolin Dry, .25 Luxardo Maraschino, 2 dashes orange bitters.

The Tuxedo Cocktail comes from Harry Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual of 1882. Interestingly it also turns up in the Savoy Cocktail Book, though in the fifty years that separates the two the Old Tom has been swapped out for dry gin – no doubt a reflection of the changing tastes as people clamoured for drier and drier cocktails as the twentieth century progressed.

The Tuxedo features a strong gin presence upfront, with a nice lemon zest tang. A sweet funk from the Maraschino swirls in background with the orange bitters, and a long finish of Maraschino gradually reveals more and more anise from the Absinthe. The flavours are all very understated, but they work really well together to produce a subtle but interesting cocktail.

From other users
  • PDT p.257
  • Made the PDT recipe. Solid martini variant. — ☆☆☆
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<br /> A user cited PDT (The

<br /> A user cited PDT (The PDT Cocktail Book), page 257, with no other comment. Going to that book, I found the following Tuxedo Cocktail receipe
2 oz Plymouth gin
1.5 Dolin Dry Vermouth
.25 Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes House Orange Bitters (half Regan's No. 6 orange bitters and half Fee Bros orange bitters

Preparation: Stir with ice and strain into a chilled, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe-rinsed coupe

This is a totally different recipe, and just eyeballing the two, I think I would prefer PDT's. Also, note in PDT's recipe, the Absinthe is used as a rinse, and not included as an ingredient. Note, too, 1 oz of Old Tom gin is used in Kindred Cocktail's recipe, whereas 2 oz of Plymouth gin is used in PDT's recipe. An interesting difference. I wonder if the Old Tom gin should be bumped up to 2 oz also (or at least 1 1/2 oz). I'll find out when I try both recipes; I'll report my findings after trying the old and the revised new.

By the way, PDT gives credit for the Tuxedo cocktail to Harry Johnson, in his Bartender's Manual, 1900


Zachary Pearson's picture

I cleaned this up - The PDT

I cleaned this up - The PDT version is modernized for a 4 ounce pre-chill volume. The Savoy  reflects the dominance of London gin at the time, swapping it out for the Old Tom of Johnson's time. Thanks,  Zachary

As I said in my prior comment

As I said in my prior comment, I would try both recipes, and give you my impressions, suggestions, and recommendations. Here goes:
I started with the PDT recipe, calling for an Absinthe-rinsed glass, Plymouth gin, and 1/4 oz Luxardo Marachino liqueur, among other ingredients. The results: I loved this cocktail! The flavors were well-balanced, light in taste, and a delight to drink. I would rate it a 4.5 for your cocktail book. NOTE: the PDT recipe calls for 1 1/2 oz of Dolin dry vermouth; although I like Dolin vermouth, I am not fond of dry vermouth, so I used only 1 1/4 oz of Dolin dry vermouth.

As for the recipe given by Kindred Cocktails; I used 2 oz (not 1 oz) of Hayman's Old Tom gin, Dolin dry vermouth (in both recipes), St George Absinthe Verte (in both recipes), and Regans' No. 6 Orange bitters (whereas I used the house Orange bitters recipe given in PDT for the PDT recipe). The results: This version of the Tuxedo Cocktail lacked much in the way of flavor--what came through mostly was the Absinthe and the lemon zest. I could not taste the Luxardo Marischino at all (so I added a "skinny" 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino, and it made a big difference). My rating: Between 2.5 to 3.0

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: For a more flavorful and satisfying Tuxedo Cocktail, use the recipe from PDT (pg. 257), which I gave in yesterday's comment (in case you do not have a copy of the PDT book). Also, use 1 1/4 oz or 1 1/2 oz of Dolin dry vermouth, depending upon your taste. If you prefer to use Kindred Cocktail's version of the Tuxedo Cocktail, be sure to use 2 oz of Old Tom gin--1 oz will not suffice.