The Bijou Cocktail

Post 10 of 52

People love experimenting with tastes and flavors, and we are one of the few species – if not the only one – which reacts to these things and places great importance on them. This refers to both foods and drinks, which in our cultures can be combined so many times and in so many formulas that could live their entire life and never eat or drink the same thing twice. In this article we want to talk about a very interesting and flavorful cocktail, the Bijou cocktail. On our website we like to bring you the best cocktail recipes and show you how to prepare them at home as well. Indeed, some are more complicated and require tools or ingredients that can’t be found everywhere, but they can at least serve as inspiration.

It is well-known that cocktails, just like food recipes, are mainly based on the inspiration of their creator, and only afterwards by their knowledge of the subject. In order to be a successful creator of cocktails, you need to have a very refined sense of taste; you need to be aware of the various drinks and ingredients that exist, and be able to imagine which combinations can result in a delicious cocktail. The Bijou cocktail, like most mixed drinks, has an anonymous author, because these things are rarely consigned on paper. However, cocktail creators are most often the bartenders themselves, who use their creations to promote their bars or restaurants. Sometimes however, it is amateurs who create them, based on an extensive experience with drinks.

As for the Bijou cocktail, it means “jewel” in French, but it was probably not created in France. What we do know is that it was an important landmark in mixed drink creation in the 19th century. The first written mention of this cocktail was in Harry Johnson’s book “New and Improved Bartender Manual”, which was first published in 1900. This means the recipe, or variations of it, already existed. Nevertheless, here is the recipe as we know it today:

  • 3 parts gin
  • 1 part green Chartreuse
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  •  dash of orange bitters

These are the ingredients of the Bijou cocktail, and they are the ones which inspired the name as well, because gin has the color of a diamond, vermouth has the color of rubies, and the Chartreuse is green like an emerald. The resulting concoction has a brownish, orange color however. The ingredients are poured into a mixing glass and stirred, after which they are strained in a cocktail glass. The standard garnish is an orange peel, but cherry is also used sometimes. You too can prepare this at home and impress your friends at parties.

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