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:

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

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

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

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    1. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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  6. 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!

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

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  7. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    1. 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.

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

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

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  12. 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

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

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  13. 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!

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

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  14. That is one fun name. Beautiful cocktail though!

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

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  15. 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  20. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  27. 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...

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    1. 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.

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

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

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  29. 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.

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

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  30. 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. :)

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

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  31. 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/

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

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  32. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  36. 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! :)

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    1. 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.

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  37. I could quite easily be charmed by this beauty ;)

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

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