Juliet & Romeo

Toby Maloney, The Violet Hour | Chicago

When Toby Maloney opened The Violet Hour, one of the first serious craft cocktail bars to open in no-nonsense Chicago, in 2007, he wanted to create a gin cocktail that would appeal to gin haters. The result was the Juliet & Romeo, a mix of gin, lime juice, cucumber, sugar, mint, salt and rose water. “I wanted it to taste like a walk through an English garden,” says Maloney. His plan succeeded. The drink has been among the top two sellers for the last 12 years; in 2019, the bar sold an average of 20 a day. To put that in perspective, only the Old-Fashioned sells more. “It’s as close to a house drink as we have,” says Maloney. It’s also jumped to other bars in town. The day Maloney sees it on the most menus? Valentine’s Day, naturally.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces London dry gin, preferably Beefeater
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 1 mint sprig
  • pinch of salt

Garnish: mint leaf, 1 dash of rosewater, 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.

  1. Combine cucumber and salt in a mixing tin and muddle.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and shake with ice.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe.
  4. Garnish with mint leaf, 1 dash of rosewater on the mint leaf and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.