Turf Cocktail

An early variation on the classic Martini.

There are several versions of the Turf Cocktail, each a slightly different variation on the Martini. The earliest of these recipes can be traced to George J. Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks from 1895, and is a relatively simple mix of Old Tom gin and bitters. Harry MacElhone’s version, from 1922, indicates a mix of gin, maraschino, bitters and absinthe. Another version, which originated at the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar, switches out a Martini’s usual dry vermouth for sweet vermouth blended with a couple of dashes of Angostura. We’ve included an updated riff on MacElhone’s version, adjusted for the modern palate.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur (preferably Luxardo)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Garnish: lemon peel

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon peel.