A jewel from the 1880’s!

A true gem that sparkles and shines that will put a twinkle in your eyes!

A delicious, polished, multi-faceted cocktail that I bet you`ll declare a crown jewel!

Don’t let the similarity to the Negroni fool you. It’s much sweeter, more vegetal, and has some serious bite.

It gives you some of the sweetness you love in a whiskey sour but without being sickeningly candy-like.

The roots

The Bijou is a classic from the 1890s. Its name refers to the ingredient colors, which represent three different jewels: Clear dry gin for diamonds. Red sweet vermouth for rubies. And green Chartreuse for emeralds. When you mix those ingredients together, the result is an amber hue—and of course amber can be used as a jewel, too.

This is another turn-of-the-20th-century relative of the martini family, and it’s a cocktail that real martini drinkers will enjoy.

Yet, even though most bars will have all of the ingredients, you probably won’t find many bartenders that know how to make it—despite how simple it is. It`s essentially a Martini of equal proportions, with the addition of green Chartreuse, which gives the cocktail flavor and depth unlike a Martini.

Johnson’s original formula for the Bijou cocktail calls for combining equal parts of Plymouth Gin, Italian (aka Sweet) Vermouth and Green Chartreuse with a dash of orange bitters in a mixing glass with ice, stirring it until cold and straining it into a cocktail glass before plopping in a cherry and expressing the oils of a lemon peel atop the finished mixture.

It is slightly sweet, and a bit thick in texture…

But by raising the amount of gin by a half and by rolling back the other two ingredients by the same amount this will result in a somewhat drier, crisper drink with all the flavorful interplay of the original. And that`s what I like!

The makin’s

1 part London dry gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part green Chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters

* For a more modern version (my way), use:
1 ½ parts gin
½ part vermouth
½ part Chartreuse

The drill

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with cracked ice
Stir well for 20 seconds until properly chilled
Strain into chilled cocktail glass
Twist a piece of lemon peel
Garnish with a cherry and a lemon twist


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