Florodora (the musical) features disguises, intrigue, and complicated silliness. But don’t worry. With this cocktail, you’ll never lose the plot. It’s a delightful combo of gin, raspberry liqueur, lime juice, and ginger beer. Which makes it a nice slow sipper with perky flavor.
And that’s no song and dance.
Recipe: The Floradora Cocktail
The musical comedy Florodora opened in London in 1899, where it became very popular. A year later, it opened on Broadway in New York City, becoming even more popular. It also started a successful run in Australia around the same time. More history in the Notes.
Now let’s talk about the drink. It’s basically a gin and raspberry liqueur version of a Dark and Stormy Cocktail. The flavor is terrific, and it’s become one of our favorite warm-weather drinks.
Our recipe comes from cocktail historian extraordinaire David Wondrich.
This drink takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 2 ounces dry gin (see Notes)
- ½ ounce Chambord liqueur (may substitute raspberry syrup; see Notes)
- ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 to 3 ounces ginger beer (may substitute ginger ale; but see Notes)
- garnish of fresh raspberries (optional)
- Add the gin, Chambord, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake briskly until the contents are well chilled (20 seconds or so).
- Strain into a highball glass (8 to 10 ounces) filled with ice cubes. Top up the glass with ginger beer. Garnish (if you wish) with raspberries. Serve and enjoy.
- We’ve seen several versions of this drink with differing ratios of ingredients. In particular, many versions call for a 2:1 ratio of gin to lime juice. Much as we like lime juice in drinks, we prefer a 4:1 ratio. But feel free to experiment.
- Many versions of this drink specify raspberry simple syrup. We think Chambord has better flavor – and makes for a less sweet drink.
- But if you prefer to use raspberry simple syrup, it’s easy to make your own: Use 2 parts sugar to 1 part water to 1 part raspberries (fresh or frozen). For example, place 1 cup sugar in a saucepan and add ½ cup water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup raspberries. Stir with a wooden spoon until the raspberries form a pulp. Simmer for several minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. Pour the mixture through a strainer, pressing lightly with a spoon to extract the raspberry juice (but don’t press too hard, otherwise the mixture could turn cloudy). Discard the raspberry detritus. Pour the liquid into a lidded bottle and refrigerate. Raspberry simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for at least a couple of weeks.
- We like to use ginger beer in this drink, but you can substitute ginger ale. Do note that in the US, ginger ale often is somewhat sweeter than ginger beer.
- We often skip the raspberry garnish for this drink, but it is a nice look.
- You can use any name-brand dry gin for this drink. Beefeaters and Tanqueray are our two favorites, although the Bombay brand is also popular (and quite good). Those three are available almost everywhere, but there are loads more good labels out there.
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re noncommercial and do not benefit from mentioning brands. We recommend only what we use and like (and buy with our own money).
- So what’s the backstory on this drink? As noted above, it was named after the musical comedy, Florodora. In the play, Florodora is a small island in the Philippines, and also the name of a perfume (manufactured from the florodora flower). The plot revolves around who is the rightful owner of the perfume business (and the marriage prospects of several characters). There is plenty of song and dance, and audiences of the day were much taken with the play’s six very beautiful young chorines, popularly dubbed the Florodora Sextet.
- The play – or more likely the sextet – inspired the namesake cocktail, now commonly spelled Floradora (probably because no native speaker of English can spell competently).
- Who developed this drink? We don’t know. Nor are we sure which New York bar originated it, though we’ve read that it was quite popular at the original Waldorf-Astoria.
“Love me a Dark ‘n Stormy, so you know I can’t resist this drink,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Terrific flavor, outstanding color.”
“Nice floral fragrance to this one,” I said. “Glad you find it iris-istible.”
“Was that a flower joke?” said Mrs K R. “I’m afraid it’s wilted.”
“I was so sure you’d lilac it,” I said.
“Now you’re pollen my chain,” said Mrs K R.
“Well, I was going to offer a peony for your thoughts,” I said. “But I don’t want to violet your privacy.”
“Enough!” said Mrs K R. “Where’s the weedwacker?”
Better stop before this gets thorny.
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LOL...always enjoy the flirty conversations between you and Mrs. The gorgeous cocktail is totally new to me. Great to learn something new again!
Hi Angie, this cocktail doesn't seem to be very popular these days. Too bad -- it's excellent. Thanks for the comment.
This is my kind of cocktail John. I have been telling bartenders about your website and one of them has made one of your cocktails for me. Prost !
Somewhere I have heard of the Floradora Girls, but never knew who they were or where they came from. Evidently they were known as Flora, Cora, Nora, and Dora, though there were six of them. Go figure. At least that explains why the spelling changed.
Looks like a nice drink. I actually drank some mixed drinks when onboard a ship this month, though now I'm back to my usual wine drinking habits.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Gerlinde, Prost! And appreciate you spreading the good word. :-) Thanks for the comment.
So refreshing & tasty.
Hi Mae, I had heard of the girls, I think, but vaguely. And didn't really know here was a cocktail until a couple or so years ago. It's really a good one -- worth ordering next time you're on a cruise ship. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, really refreshing. Very tasty. One of our new favorites! Thanks for the comment.
This is such a clever cocktail and how lovely that it was created in respect to the Floradora show. A great combination of flavours, it could have been called Flavadora. Thanks for the story and cocktail inspiration. Warm regards, Merryn
Hi Merryn, really like the Flavadora name idea! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Sounds like a perfect cocktail for Labor Day weekend! Love the color!!!
Hi Liz, isnt the color wonderful? Flavor is, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Haha we both have shared a coctail with gin and raspberry liquor this week.
This is such a beautiful, fresh, and delightful drink. I never thought of adding ginger beer, and I love this twist!
Love the banter, always puts a smile on my face. Pretty cocktail, nicely presented. Cheers!
Hi Ben, great minds! :-) And the gin/ginger beer combo totally works! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Eva, we love writing those endings! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Too cute, the conversation. Love gin, love this cocktail.
Hi Velva, bet you'll really, really like this cocktail. Really. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This sounds very refreshing and with a couple of slight modifications, it could even be an occasional Keto beverage.
Hi Anne, this is SO good -- really worth trying. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Totally agree with Mrs KR. Terrific flavor, outstanding color, just by the looks of it, its irressitable
Hi Raymund, we certainly can't resist this! :-) Thanks for the comment.
i love Chambord - well, i used to back in the days when i drank (about a year ago). this sounds very delightful and i love the name. P.S. I am no longer getting any emails about your posts, and i can't subscribe here. what to do? :)
Hi Sherry, Chambord is great! And sorry about the email notifications -- Google finally turned off Feedburner, and I haven't gotten another email notification service yet. :-( Thanks for the comment.
The flavors in this sound wonderful with the herbal, tart, and even spicy notes. I'll take two :)
Hi Laura, two is an excellent number. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Great recipe!I have all the ingredients except for Chambord liqueur. May have to make raspberry syrup.
Hi Balvinder, pretty easy to make raspberry syrup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Now, that's a looker! And I can never resist anything with ginger beer as a component.
Hi Carolyn, it's pretty, isn't it? And wonderful flavor! Thanks for the comment.
So pretty. Looks good too.
Amazing photography as always. I'm always intrigued by the backstories of the cocktails you present. I can imagine having one of these at the Waldorf after enjoying the play.
Hi R, doesn't this look great? A wonderful drink! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ron, isn't this a fun drink? We love the backstory on this one! :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, the color on the drink is stunning!! It just looks refreshing. I always love the backstories about these oldies, but goodies. I have to try this one, I'm picking up some gin and ginger beer this week! I have sugar-free rasberry flavored syrup in my pantry, will that work? Love y'alls conversations over the recipes 😁Don't make her get the weedwacker lol Excited to try it, thanks so much!
Hi Marcelle, I would think the sugar-free raspberry syrup would work. Might use a bit less of it at first (sugar-free stuff is often really sweet!), and adjust the quantity to taste. This has become one of our favorite drinks -- we had it again this weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I enjoyed reading the history of this festive and delicious looking drink! Your photos certainly make it extremely appealing! Yum.
Hi Judee, it's a fun drink,isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Flower puns are hilarious. This drink is intriguing because I like ginger beer and it's good to know some less trodden applications for it. Hmmm. That didn't quite work... I was going for a trampled flower garden joke but “I’m afraid it’s wilted.” GREG
Hi Greg, wilted, but not bad. :-) This is really good -- worth trying. Thanks for the comment.
I really like ginger beer, and what a great ingredient mixed in to the other in this beautiful cocktail. Your photos of drinks always lure me in. The first one in this post is so dramatic. I love it! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, I'm betting you'll really like this drink. :-) Thanks for that very kind comment!
Now doesn't this sound refreshing! And I love the name.. :-)
Hi Frank, this is really good -- you wont' be sorry if you try this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow I have all of these ingredients. Including fresh raspberries until the first frost!
Hi Inger, this is a wonderful drink -- maybe the best one we did this summer. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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