Bijou

A gem-colored cocktail from the late-19th century.

Bijou

This improbable cocktail—a blend of gin, sweet vermouth and Chartreuse—was invented in the United States in the late-19th century. The invention of the drink is commonly attributed to bartender Harry Johnson, who included the recipe in his 1900s tome The Bartender’s Manual, while its name, which means jewel in French, is said to have been inspired by the gem-colored alcohols combined in the recipe. The original formula calls for either a cherry or an olive for a garnish, but history has come down on the correct side of this debate: today’s version uses a cherry.

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Garnish: brandied cherry (preferably Luxardo)

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir well.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Editor's Note

Luxardo cherries are a luxury, but if you can find them, plop one in.

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Chartreuse

(n.) Invented by Carthusian Monks in the early-16th century for medicinal purposes, Chartreuse is one of the earliest-known herbal liqueurs. There are two versions: the 110-proof green, which has more spice and pepper notes, and the 80-proof yellow, which skews sweeter and more mellow. The exact recipes are kept secret by the monks, but more [...] More A-Z →