There are a dozen or so sherry and gin drinks that start to pop up during the twilight years of the 19th century and repeat themselves with very slight variations throughout the beginning of the 20th. Of them all, the Tuxedo is the best and most well-known. The drink’s name refers to the Tuxedo Park, a sort of early experiment in country club living established in 1886 about 35 miles from Jersey City. There were cottages, lawn tennis courts, a golf course, a clubhouse and plenty of well-heeled New Yorkers willing to call this sporting paradise home. Tuxedo Park was not only the birthplace of the first complete sewage system in America, but the tail-less suit, called, yes, the tuxedo. The members of this bourgie utopia were called Tuxedoites and before shuffling out of the city after work they no doubt stopped off at the city’s top bars, most notable among them: the Waldorf-Astoria bar, where this drink was born.
A 19th-century classic made for the blue of blood.
- 2 ounces gin (preferably Plymouth or Beefeater 24)
- 1 ounce fino sherry (preferably La Ina)
- 2 dashes Regans' orange bitters
Garnish: orange peel
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir well.
- Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
For all the weenies reading this and wondering where the absinthe and maraschino are, there are many drinks that bear the Tuxedo name, but according to cocktail historian David Wondrich, this appears to be the first.