'; Bijou Cocktail - Complex Drink in a Class of Its Own

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Bijou Cocktail – Complex Drink in a Class of Its Own

Bijou cocktail is a drink from the 19th century. It is an excellent combination of gin, vermouth and green chartreuse.

This mixture is a very herbal, full-bodied, slightly sweet cocktail that makes an excellent and at the same time complex after-dinner drink.

Unfortunately, Bijou cocktail has been forgotten over the course of time. At some point it just wasn’t served anymore. It is possible that from then on guests enjoyed the Martinez which is very similar to the Bijou.

In the early 1900s, attempts were made to mask the presence of gin in cocktails with other ingredients due to its amateurish production compared to today’s superb quality. That is why cocktail recipes from the late 19th century were often very strong, aromatic drinks that certainly met people’s tastes back then.

However, in today’s terms the original recipe of equal parts gin, vermouth and chartreuse is obsolete and overloaded. No longer must gin be dominated with equally intense and aromatic spirits.

In fact, today, the taste has changed to the point that gin can play the main role as a spirit, as in the Martini.

In its original recipe, the Bijou is by no means a bad drink. For today’s tastes, however, the gin portion can be increased and the liqueur portion decreased slightly.

Recommended Gin and Vermouth

Juniper forward gins when combined with well rounded red vermouth work wonders for the Bijou. Classic London Dry varieties such as the Beefeater, Tanqueray, Tanqueray 10, Plymouth Gin, etc are quite suitable.

Gins with citrus notes also fair well. For instance, Sipsmith London Dry and Monkey 47, although the latter is quite complex with added warm and dry peppery notes.

As far as sweet vermouth goes, you can always count on Antica Formula. Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino is also a great buy.

If you are looking for something less expensive, try Dolin Vermouth Rouge. We recommend these over Martini Rosso.


Bijou Cocktail

Bijou combines the powerful notes of gin with the sweetish-tart notes of vermouth and a powerful, herbal chartreuse. Rounded off by floral orange bitters, which give it the necessary depth.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: digestif
Cuisine: american
Servings: 1 person


  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters


  • Stir all ingredients cold in a mixing glass over ice.
  • Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon zest.

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