Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Cabaret Cocktail

The Cabaret Cocktail

Perfect for Valentine sipping

Hearts and flowers? Sure! But don’t forget: Your special sweetheart gets thirsty too.

So stir up amour with the Cabaret Cocktail. This smooth charmer combines gin and dry vermouth with Bénédictine liqueur and a dash of bitters. That gives it a hint of sweetness, but not too much.

Because your Valentine is sweet enough already, no?



The Cabaret Cocktail

Recipe: The Cabaret Cocktail

We discovered the Cabaret Cocktail while reading drinks expert Robert Hess, who gives some background on it.

As is the case with many cocktails, the origins of the Cabaret are murky. There’s a drink of the same name that hails from the 1920s or 30s (you can find a recipe for it in The Savoy Cocktail Book). But that drink is different from Hess’s (among other things, it calls for caperitif, a South African vermouth-like fortified wine that’s not easy to find in the US). Hess traces his version of the Cabaret Cocktail back to the 1970s, and notes that it may be an older drink. But no one knows who first mixed it.

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.

Ingredients
  • 1 ounce dry gin
  • ¾ ounce dry (white) vermouth (aka French vermouth)
  • ¼ ounce Bénédictine
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • maraschino cherry as garnish (optional, but pretty; see Notes)
Procedure
  1. Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir briskly until the contents are well chilled (30 seconds or so).
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that has been chilled. Add garnish, if desired, and serve.
The Cabaret Cocktail

Notes
  • Which gin and dry vermouth should you use in this drink? Any good name brand would work. Or ask the friendly folks at your local liquor store for suggestions.
  • Bénédictine is an aromatic herbal liqueur that’s a bit on the sweet side. Because of its name, you might think it’s produced by Benedictine monks. In fact, it was invented in 1863 by Alexandre Le Grand, a French industrialist and wine merchant. Le Grand wasn’t one to miss a good marketing opportunity, though, so he falsely claimed that monks at a Benedictine Abbey in Normandy had developed the beverage.
  • Angostura bitters give this drink much of its color. They also blend well with vermouth, forming a nice flavor combo. Don’t skip them. 
  • For the garnish, you can use supermarket maraschino cherries (preferably ones with a stem). Better yet, use the Luxardo brand of maraschino cherries if you can find them. Their color is a darker and less garish red than the supermarket kind. Plus they have a much drier, more cherry-like flavor. 
  • We’re fresh out of Luxardo cherries, so we used supermarket maraschino cherries for the pictures in this post.
The Cabaret Cocktail

Start Celebrating, Right this Way

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Happy to see such a good drink.”

Mais oui,” I said. “Come to the Cabaret, mouth.”

“I left my troubles outside,” said Mrs K R. “No problems here! Except my glass is empty.”

“Let me fix you another, old chum,” I said. “Life is a Cabaret Cocktail.”

You may also enjoy reading about:
Between the Sheets Cocktail
Hanky Panky Cocktail
Fanciulli Cocktail
Aviation Cocktail
Bridal Cocktail
Pink Lady Cocktail
Cocktail Basics
Or check out the index for more

76 comments:

Dahn Boquist said...

Oh yes! Life is a Cabaret Cocktail and it is especially perfect for Valentines Day!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dahn, life -- with this cocktail! -- is good, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

What a great cocktail for a special day. Will it taste good with chocolate ?

natalia20041989 said...

Looks so pretty☺

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gerlinde, this is better as a before dinner drink than an after dinner drink. Think a martini, with a hint of sweetness. Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Natalia, and tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert said...

I would enjoy sipping this lovely drink anytime. Sounds terrific John and beautiful shots.

Shashi said...

Such a gorgeous drink! I think I'd rather have this over hearts and flowers :)

Healthy World Cuisine said...

It has to noon somewhere...right? With this terrible mess of sleet and weather advisories might as well hunker down and start our weekend early... Fabulous cocktail!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Tricia, this definitely is worth serving anytime, anywhere. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Shashi, Mrs KR wants this AND the hearts and flowers. And chocolate. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, really rainy and gloomy here, too -- cocktail weather! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Terry / Blue Kitchen said...

You've now stuck us all with the Cabaret earworm, John! But I'm a sucker for gin cocktails—especially one that sounds this good—so no worries.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Terry, there are some great songs in that musical, aren't there? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Rocquie said...

Happy Valentines Day to you and Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. This drink looks perfect for the occasion. --Rocquie

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Rocquie, it really is a nice drink for Valentine's Day. Or any day. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Lea Ann said...

Beautiful cocktail. Looks perfect for Valentine's Day. Thanks for another great recipe.

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

I love any drink that comes with a maraschino cherry garnish. This sounds great!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lea Ann, really pretty, really tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Kelsie, hard to resist a cherry garnish, isn't it? One of the few garnishes that I'll actually eat! Thanks for the comment.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

The cherry adds just the festive touch for Valentine's Day! Perfect for sipping before dinner.

Merryn G said...

How divine and it is lovely to remember that our sweethearts are sweet enough. This cocktail is sure to impress and win over many a heart :D

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, cherries really are quite festive, aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Merryn, yup, this is a heart winner. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Juliana said...

What a beautiful cocktail John...and yes, I love gin...indeed perfect for Valentine's Day...super elegant! Thanks for the recipe.
I hope you are having a fantastic week!

Denise Browning said...

That is one fun name. Beautiful cocktail though!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Juliana, it really is rather pretty, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Denise, we love the name. And the flavor of the drink, too! Thanks for the comment.

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

I have to say this sounds very good and would give me a chance to make a dent in our benedictine. I bought it at a liquor store going out of business and didn't know what it was! The weekend can't come fast enough!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Abbe, Bénédictine has a nice flavor! And works really well in this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Angie Schneider said...

This looks so beautiful that I wish I could have a sip too!

valentina maria kenney wein said...

That is one smooth looking drink. I love drinks with vermouth . . . and cherries. Lovely for Valentine's Day, or really any day.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

Cheeky intro lol! And love the sound of the cabaret, oh that touch of Bénédictine! Naughty monks. Another fab cocktail.

sherry said...

oh I think a maraschino cherry should never be optional. too pretty to miss out on. cheers and chin chin sherry

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, you need a sip!:-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Valentina, vermouth is SO good with gin -- magical combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Evelyne, fun stuff, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Sherry, we often skip garnishes when we make drinks for ourselves, but hard to resist a maraschino cherry! Thanks for the comment.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

John, I've never heard of this one, the old version or the newer, but it sounds good. And, of course, your photos of it are superb.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jean, this was a new cocktail to us, too. Glad we learned about it! Thanks for the comment.

GiGi Eats said...

I don't pay attention to Valentine's Day - but I will pay attention to this drink and show Landon! ;)

Debra Eliotseats said...

Looks lovely!

Frank said...

Sounds like a delicious if potent elixir. I have all the ingredients in my bar, I think I'll give it a go tonight!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi GiGi, bet Landon will pay attention to Valentine's Day just for an excuse to drink this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Debra, it is, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Frank, it's a neat drink -- and you'll enjoy giving it a try! Thanks for the comment.

Deb|EastofEdenCooking said...

A drink for the heart and spirit! This is the way to begin the evening on Valentine's Day.

Sippity Sup said...

...bleibe, reste, stay! GREG

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Deb, yup, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Greg, :D Thanks for the comment.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Meine Damen und Herren... bitte... make me this Cabaret Cocktail!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi David, :-) One Cabaret Cocktail coming up, sir! Thanks for the comment.

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

I would rather have a couple of these than flowers for Valentine's day! haha!! Looks delicious!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ashley, Mrs KR wants a couple of these AND the flowers. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ron said...

John, an outstanding cocktail photo and Valentine's cocktail. I've had Caperitif and remember it as being very herbish, I think your recipe would be the way to go. Oui s'il vous plaît, I could certainly go for one or two of those lovelies, but I'll have mine shaken not stirred...

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ron, we haven't ad Capertif, but your description certainly matches what we've read about it. And in fact we usually shake all drinks (except for photos) because we're barbarians. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

A drink to make you want to kick up your heels for sure! Cheers to that!

Laura Dembowski said...

I always get a jolt of glee when I see a Luxurado cherry in a drink at a restaurant. I am also a big fan of aperitifs like Benedictine.

mjskit said...

What a nice little cocktail for Valentine's! Since I'm more of a gin drinkers than Bobby, I'll have to have him make me one. :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, always fun to kick up one's heels! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, those cherries are SO good, aren't they? Need to buy another jar! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, I'm sure Bobby would be delighted to make one of these for you! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Gingi Freeman said...

THIS. LOOKS. GOOD. Whyyyy am I juice fasting right now?! - http://domesticgeekgirl.com/family-wellness/day-1-of-my-3-day-juice-cleanse-with-goodstuff-juices-summer-slim/

Hotly Spiced said...

I love the photo with the cashews. It looks like it's been taken in a very sophisticated bar. You photograph your cocktails so beautifully. Not sure what we're doing yet for Valentine's Day but I do hope I have a drink as special as this xx

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gingi, just pretend this is juice. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Charlie, those "bar" photos are fun to take! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Vicki Bensinger said...

Such a pretty drink to serve on Valentine's Day. Who wouldn't be thrilled with something so lovely and sweet!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Vicki, I'll drink to that! :-) Thanks for the comment.

lisa is cooking said...

I was just thinking about how I'd rather have a nice Valentine's cocktail than candy. Perfect timing for this!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lisa, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

This is a lovely Valentine's Day cocktail! Cheers!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amy, it's delish! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons said...

I always love your cocktails, John! And this one is a classic! And your photos blow me away. (I have such a hard time photographing beverages for some reason!). Cheers! :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, photographing stuff with glass is all about light reflections -- read _Light, Science, and Magic_ for a pretty thorough discussion of lighting theory. Thanks for the comment.

Emma @ Bake Then Eat said...

I could quite easily be charmed by this beauty ;)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Emma, it's a beauty, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.