Gibson

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Cocktail History

The Gibson is a classic cocktail that is believed to have been created by and named for Walter D.K. Gibson in the 1890s at Bohemian Club in San Francisco, California. The recipe is considered the cousin of the Martini because it’s also made with gin and dry vermouth, but this version calls for savory onions instead of an olive as its garnish. Although less popular than some other classics, the Gibson became popular again in the 2020s after being portrayed as the drink of choice for prodigy chess player Beth Harmon and her adoptive mother in the hit Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

London Dry Gin: This is a type of gin made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol that has been infused with flavor through redistillation without artificial ingredients or colors. We used Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin because it’s versatile and high proof. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Dry Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry because it has a light and airy flavor profile with notes of Alpine herbs. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth.

Cocktail Onions: These are miniature onions that have been preserved in vinegar.

Bartending Tools

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

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Gibson features a spicy gin taste that’s nicely complemented by the slight sweetness of vermouth, tart citrus of bitters, and crunch of the onions.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although still a little too strong for Kendall, she thoroughly enjoys cocktail onion garnishes now. On the other hand, this is now one of Alex’s top five favorite cocktails. It’s definitely a good celebratory sip post “checkmate”… or consolation drink after a loss, which is probably more likely for us when it comes to chess.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Recipe

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

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 ½ oz London Dry Gin
 ½ oz Dry Vermouth
 3 Cocktail Onions

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with onions.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 ½ oz London Dry Gin
 ½ oz Dry Vermouth
 3 Cocktail Onions

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with onions.

Gibson

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey Vina Martini Glasses, 12-ounce, Set of 6
Libbey Vina Martini Glasses, 12-ounce, Set of 6
Generous capacity of the classic triangular martini bowl keeps every guest satisfied; Maintains its subtle beauty while offering excellent chip resistance
$29.99
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Libbey 8978 Libbey Stemware Domaine 8 oz. Martini Glass
Libbey 8978 Libbey Stemware Domaine 8 oz. Martini Glass
Model : 8978; Chip- rim; Dishwasher; Use Traex rack TR-8DDD with this Domaine Martini Glass
$59.66
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Libbey Capone Entertaining Set with 4 Martini Glasses and Shaker
Libbey Capone Entertaining Set with 4 Martini Glasses and Shaker
Give your classic cocktail skills a sophisticated vintage-style presentation; Complete martini glass set includes a classic shaker to make entertaining easy
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I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$5.98 Amazon Prime

More Classic Cocktails

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

Vesper Martini Cocktail Recipe

Vesper Martini: A gin and vodka cocktail made with Lillet Blanc and a lemon twist

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan: A whiskey cocktail made with sweet vermouth, orange bitters, an orange peels, and a cherry

Martinez Cocktail Recipe

Martinez: A gin cocktail made with sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and orange bitters

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Brooklyn: A rye cocktail made with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon

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