Bonus Cocktail: The Tuxedo

Dress up, drink, repeat.

We are working on some new recipes for this week, including a kick-ass version of Cioppino and some homemade Philadelphia-style ice cream. Asparagus is also in season, and we may have a good dish coming there as well. But the recipes are not quite ready for prime time (or photography) just yet.

We did mange to stumble upon another good cocktail however, and I could not resist posting it now (for all of you Monday cocktail drinkers…;-). The drink is called the Tuxedo. We found it while researching drinks that use Maraschino liqueur. As you may recall, last week’s cocktail was the Rum Crusta, a lemon-based, “tropical”, rum cocktail that uses Maraschino with great impact. The Tuxedo may use a similar ingredient with the Maraschino, but it a very different animal. If the Rum Crusta is an escape to a beach in the Caribbean, the Tuxedo is a night on the town in New York.

A variant on the martini, the Tuxedo is smoother and features more depth of flavor. It uses almost equal parts gin and vermouth, so while it is still a serious drink, it is a bit less boozy than a dry martini. (And FYI, most early martinis were 50/50 gin and vermouth. That version is also an entirely different drink, and worth a try). Maraschino, Absinthe (or pastis) and bitters provide the added flavor in the Tuxedo, but blend together very well. The Tuxedo is still a martini, but perhaps more elegant than the original.  Thus the name. This is a very “dressed-up” martini. Next time you are in full cocktail attire, make this drink. It will play very well.

The Tuxedo:

(Adapted from the PDT Cocktail Book and David Wondrich)

Notes Before You Start:

–       Variants of this cocktail suggest a fino sherry instead of vermouth, and without the Absinthe / pastis or bitters. This version is also good, if you have good dry sherry available, give it a try.

–       Orange bitters are preferred, but Angostura or Peychauds also work. A splash of orange liqueur can also substitute.

What You Get: A deeper, richer version of the martini. A drink that will impress the bartender when you order it.

What You Need: No special equipment required. Orange bitters will make the drink even better. Most good liquor stores will have orange bitters (look for Fee Brothers).

How Long: 5 Minutes, max. The Tuxedo is an easy cocktail to make, even if it features a few extra ingredients.


(Makes 1 Cocktail)

–       Absinthe (or pastis, like Pernod) for rinse

–       2 oz. gin

–       1 and ½ oz. dry vermouth

–       ¼ oz. Maraschino liqueur

–       2 dashes bitters, preferably orange bitters

–       Lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Rinse a chilled cocktail glass (coupe or martini glass) with the Absinthe.
  2. Combine gin, vermouth, Maraschino and bitters in a cocktail glass or shaker. Add ice and gently stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into the cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.

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