Bijou

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Cocktail History

The Bijou is a classic gin cocktail that is believed to have been created by 19th century bar legend Harry Johnson, who included it in his book The Bartender’s Manual. It features a blend of gin, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and Green Chartreuse and is every bit as complex as it sounds. Its name, which means “jewel” in French, was also derived from the different gem-colored ingredients used to make it, and its garnish was originally an olive before eventually becoming a cherry to better suite its flavor profile.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is the base spirit. We chose West Cork Distillers Garnish Island Gin for its floral botanicals and chocolate notes.

Sweet Vermouth: This is a fortified wine that adds sweetness. We used Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth because it’s Alex’s favorite sweet vermouth, with dark notes of herbs, figs, licorice, cinnamon, and cocoa.

Green Chartreuse: This is a liqueur that adds its unique sweet, spicy, and smooth flavor. It has a distinctly herbal finish with notes of mint, sage, gentian, apple, and vanilla.

Orange Bitters: This adds a bit of the citrus’s sweet flavor to balance out the other ingredients. We used Scrappy’s Bitters Orange Bitters because they offer the classic taste of bitter oranges, herbs, and spices.

Cherry: This is the garnish. We prefer Luxardo Maraschino cherries.

Tasting Notes

The Bijou begins with aromas of anise and vermouth and tastes strongly of the vermouth initially followed by the dark herbal blend of the Chartreuse, bright citrus bitters, and chocolate and juniper from the gin.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: When we made the Bijou, we knew the Chartreuse would be the star of the show in this recipe, so we paired it with a gin that features notes of chocolate to give it a dessert-like quality. Overall, this is a fascinating cocktail that left both of us craving sip after sip to contemplate its complexity.

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: The Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 oz Gin
 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
 ¾ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 dash Orange Bitters
 1 Cherry

Method
1

Add gin, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, bitters, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Gin
 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
 ¾ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 dash Orange Bitters
 1 Cherry

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, bitters, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Bijou

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Gin Cocktails

If you like this gin-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic: A lemon gin cocktail made with lemon juice, thyme syrup, Indian tonic water, and a lemon wedge

 Gin Rickey: A classic gin cocktail made with lime juice, club soda, and a lime wheel

 Trellis Gin & Tonic: An ombré gin cocktail made with cucumber and rose pink tonic water, lime juice, and a rolled cucumber

 Florodora: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, raspberry syrup, simple syrup, ginger ale, a lime slice, and raspberries

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