Tuxedo Cocktail Recipe

The classic Tuxedo cocktail features gin and vermouth with absinthe, maraschino liqueur and more. It’s one of those recipes you can tweak and make your own. 

Tuxedo cocktail in coupe glass with orange twist and cherry

This drink recipe has changed a lot over the years as bartenders tweaked it. It’s a classic gin and vermouth cocktail.

The IBA version of this recipe calls for equal amounts of gin and vermouth, but a lot of versions of the recipe call for less vermouth than that.

This version includes less vermouth, which lets the absinthe and maraschino liqueur shine more. You should feel free to play around with ratios and find what you like.

However you make it, this is a sophisticated and elegant drink has been a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts for decades.

History of the Tuxedo Cocktail

The origin of the Tuxedo cocktail can be traced back to the late 19th century. It was first mentioned in Harry Johnson’s bartending guide, published in 1900.

Unlike many classic cocktails, many people will tell you they don’t make it exactly according to the original recipe.

Ingredients and Variations

To make a classic Tuxedo cocktail, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Plymouth Gin: Old Tom is a classic choice
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Maraschino Liqueur
  • Absinthe
  • Orange Bitters
  • Orange Twist, for garnish

While the classic Tuxedo cocktail recipe calls for Old Tom Gin, which is sweeter than London Dry Gin, you can experiment with different gins to suit your taste.

Some variations also include a dash of orange flower water or use orange bitters instead of the traditional aromatic bitters.

Tips for Making Your Signature Tuxedo Cocktail

As you play around with this recipe, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use quality ingredients: Since the Tuxedo cocktail is a simple yet delicate recipe, using high-quality spirits and fresh garnishes will make a noticeable difference in the final result.
  • Stir, don’t shake: Unlike some other cocktails, the Tuxedo is best stirred rather than shaken. Stirring gives you a smooth and well-balanced drink without compromising its clarity.
  • Experiment with garnishes: While a lemon or orange twist is the traditional garnish for a Tuxedo cocktail, feel free to experiment with other citrus twists or even a cherry to add your personal touch.


The classic glassware for this one is a chilled coupe glass. You can also use a chilled cocktail glass or goblet, or even a wine glass.

The garnish is a lemon twist, orange twist or cherry. You could also go with an herb or edible flowers due to the many complex flavors in this one.

Tuxedo Cocktail Pairings

If you want to pair it with some nibbles, here are some suggestions.

  • Canapés: The subtle herbal notes of the Tuxedo cocktail pair well with canapés topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese, or caviar.
  • Cheese platter: Serve your Tuxedo cocktail alongside a cheese platter featuring aged Gouda, creamy Brie, and tangy blue cheese. The complex flavors of the cocktail will complement the various cheese profiles.
  • Dark chocolate: The rich flavors of dark chocolate harmonize beautifully with the botanicals and herbal undertones of the Tuxedo cocktail. Indulge in a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate for a luxurious pairing.

Timeless Classic

The Tuxedo cocktail has stood the test of time and continues to be a symbol of sophistication and refinement. However you make it, it has complex yet balanced flavors that make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and connoisseurs.

Whether you’re hosting a formal event or simply want to indulge in a luxurious drink, the Tuxedo cocktail makes a great option.

Tuxedo cocktail in coupe glass with orange twist and cherry
Yield: 1 drink

Tuxedo Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes

The classic Tuxedo cocktail features gin and vermouth with absinthe, maraschino liqueur and more. It's one of those recipes you can tweak and make your own.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish with an orange twist or cherry


  1. Put ice in a mixing glass.
  2. Add all ingredients into the mixing glass.
  3. Stir until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a brandied cherry and an orange twist.

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