Oxford Comma

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Cocktail History

The Oxford Comma is a gin cocktail that was created by Jeremy Oertel of Dram in Brooklyn. For this variation, Oertel took inspiration from one of his favorite shaken tequila drinks, the Loop Tonic, and aimed to combine many of the flavors of the original but in a stirred, citrus-free format. It uses celery shrub as a substitute for the savory, tart flavors of the Loop Tonic’s celery bitters and citrus.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Gin: This is the base spirit. We chose Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin for its juniper-forward taste with notes of red pepper, black pepper, and pimento.

Dry Vermouth: This is a fortified wine that adds sweetness. We used Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry because it’s light and airy.

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

Maraschino Liqueur: This is a cherry-flavored liqueur. We used Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur for its earthy aroma and sweet, creamy cherry flavor.

Celery Shrub: This is an apple cider vinegar-based ingredient that adds celery flavor and bitterness. We made ours using Alex’s shrub recipe.

Lemon Peel: This is the garnish. It adds fresh lemon aroma and flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Oxford Comma features aromas of savory celery and very faint lemon and has a dry, herbal initial taste of Maraschino and Chartreuse. While held in the mouth, the sweetness comes forward along with the peppery gin, and the swallow leaves you with a dose of herbal, bitter notes of celery shrub and Chartreuse.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both found this cocktail fascinating. It took our tastebuds on some very unexpected turns, and it also gave Alex a chance to make our first homemade shrub, which will be fun to use for experimentation in other recipes. Neither of us is sure we’d add this one into our rotation, but we’re glad we got to experience it at least once.

Alex’s Take: “Damn, what a crazy drink these guys came up with. It takes a few notes from the Last Word (gin, Chartreuse, and Maraschino), but the gin is dialed up, the liqueurs are dialed back, and dry vermouth is substituted in place to add body without too much contrasting flavor. The real star of the show is the celery shrub, which is used in tiny proportion but makes a huge difference, lending bitterness, aroma, and flavor. It definitely wouldn’t be the same drink without it, and this marks the first shrub cocktail we’ve tried and featured. Ours is homemade, inspired by a simple recipe found online, and it really does make this cocktail unique.”

Kendall’s Take: “There’s really not much that can be said about this recipe other than that it’s definitely fascinating. The celery shrub was a nice touch and added lots of unexpected flavor. I’m always impressed with Alex’s bartending skills, but he really knocked the making of his first shrub out of the park. I probably won’t request this specific drink again because I like the Last Word better, but I found it savory without being too dry for someone like me who typically prefers sweeter drinks.”

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.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Dry Vermouth
 ½ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
 1 Lemon Peel

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, celery shrub, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Dry Vermouth
 ½ oz Green Chartreuse
 1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
 1 Lemon Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, celery shrub, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Oxford Comma

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More Modern Classic Cocktails

If you like this cocktail recipe, here are a few other modern classics we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Paper Plane: A bourbon cocktail made with Aperol, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

Mott & Mulberry: A rye cocktail made with Luxardo Amaro Abano, apple cider, lemon juice, Demerara syrup, and apple slices

White Negroni: A gin cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, Suze, and a lemon peel

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