Ideal Cocktail – Classic Savoy Recipe

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Ideal Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the a classic Ideal Cocktail.


  • 1/2 oz 1/2 Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz 1 Sweet Vermouth

  • 3 dashes 3 Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 oz 2 Dry Gin


  • Technique: Saxe Soda Shake
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add one medium or two small ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake until the ice fully melts.
  • Without a strainer, pour the chilled and aerated drink into a glass.
  • Garnish:
  • Grapefruit peel


Featured Video

The Variations Of The Ideal Cocktail.

First printed in the 1917 Hugo Ensslin book Recipes For Mixed Drinks, there are three main variations of the ideal cocktail. 1). The original 1917 Hugo Ensslin Recipe. 2). The 1933 Sloppy Joe’s recipe. 3). The 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book recipe. This is the Savoy recipe, but the Sloppy Joe’s recipe from Cuba is delicious. The ideal strikes a perfect mix of gin, dry vermouth, and grapefruit juice, and both the savoy and Sloppy Joes recipes are very similar. The odd one out is the Hugo Ensslin one, as it omits grapefruit juice and instead uses a slice of actual grapefruit in the cocktail.

What Does The Ideal Cocktail Taste Like?

I don’t know how to describe this one. It’s perfect; just hard to compare it to others. It’s like a daiquiri that’s not sweet and more tart and herbal than citrus. Even that is a poor description, but those are the primary flavors. Even though it’s mostly gin, the sweet vermouth and grapefruit are what shine.

Keep This In Mind For The Ingredients.

The essential ingredient in this cocktail is the sweet vermouth and the grapefruit juice. This cocktail’s good vermouth goes a long way and adds a nice flavor than a nicer gin will. Also, only use pink or ruby red grapefruit juice in this cocktail (any cocktail, really). White grapefruit is just way too tart, but the pink and red ones are a nice balance of tartness and sweetness. Also, the pink and red grapefruits have a better flavor. Between the pink and red kind, you can use either one. Both have a similar taste, but the red is sweeter than the pink ones. So if you want to make the drink a little bit sweeter, use ruby red grapefruit juice, and if you want the glass to be a little more tart, use pink grapefruit juice.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition ended, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

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3 thoughts on “Ideal Cocktail – Classic Savoy Recipe”

  1. Can you fix the recipe for this cocktail in the app?
    It lists dry vermouth with the amount listed as “?”
    It should be sweet, not dry.
    Love the app and use it all the time,

    1. Oh man you’re right! I just checked and saw that mistake. Thank you for noticing that and letting me know. I’ll fix it.

      I’m really glad you like the app. I should have an update for it out in a couple weeks with some new recipes. Are there any cocktails you feel I should add that are not in it yet?

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