History of the Fitzgerald

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First recorded in 2002, it seems quite strange to call this a classic cocktail. Indeed, its history is not nearly as innocuous as some other drinks and it is fairly young in the cocktail world. However, it has earned its place on the classic list thanks to its delightful blend of ingredients that many have eagerly emulated. As a variation on the older Sour cocktail, we are happy to include it in the mix.

Who Invented the Fitzgerald Cocktail?

Since this is such a young drink, it is fairly easy to trace the history of it. A bartender named Dale Degroff created this cocktail when working at the Rainbow Room in New York in the 1990s. Also known as King Cocktail, Dale is a very well-known mixologist. He was given credit for bringing the profession of bartending back into the limelight and is thought to have an unusual approach when it comes to mixing new flavours.

When he first put the Fitzgerald together, it was actually called Gin Thing. A working name, it didn't really fit with the names of the other cocktails on the menu at the time. A customer suggested giving it a literary name, since the Hemingway was one of the current favourites. Fitzgerald was an obvious choice, since it is well recorded that his tipple of choice was the Gin Rickey. A similar drink with a healthy helping of gin, the Fitzgerald quickly made its way into classic cocktail status!

Variations of the Fitzgerald

To make this delicious cocktail, you add lemon juice, sugar syrup and bitters to gin. Shake with ice and strain into a cool glass with a lemon peel garnish. It is simple and easy to make and tastes incredible! It is very similar to a Gin Sours, which replaces the bitters for an egg white. Without the use of egg, it is considered to be a more palatable option for many.

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To create something completely new, you can replace the gin for a blended scotch and some lavender bitters to make a Lavender Daisy. If floral notes are not for you, try a Lemon Desert Fruit which substitutes Mezcal instead! Since the recipe is so simple, it is easy to edit to make your own - just have a go at various different substitutions until you have found something that you love!

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Bartender's top tip

The more you understand and appreciate different flavors and how they combine, the better your cocktails will be. Taste your ingredients individually and in combinations to understand how they complement or contrast with each other. This knowledge lets you adjust cocktails to your preference or even invent your own recipes confidently.

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