This Fitzgerald Cocktail is a simple and delicious variation of the classic gin sour that replaces the egg white with aromatic bitters. The combination of gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters gives a unique herbal taste to the classic cocktail.
If you love a good gin drink, especially drinks like gin sours, make sure to check out my Limoncello Sour and Lemon Elderflower Sour. Or, if you or someone you love is a gin lover, make sure to check out my gin-themed must-haves that make great gifts (even if that gift is for yourself!)
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Unique flavor – the addition of bitters gives an herbal quality that complements the botanical flavor profile of gin.
- Simple – it requires very few ingredients that are readily available at just about any grocery or liquor store.
- Elegant and elevated – gin sours give a certain sophisticated feel to any happy hour or party and the Fitzgerald is no exception with its Great Gatsby vibes.
What is a Fitzgerald Cocktail?
The Fitzgerald Cocktail was created in the early 1990s at the Rainbow Room in New York City by the legendary bartender Dale DeGroff. It’s a riff on a classic gin sour that replaces egg whites with a few dashes of bitters.
It’s said that the drink is named after F. Scott Fitzgerald of Great Gatsby fame, who famously loved gin. The Fitzgerald cocktail is an homage to Fitzgerald as the Hemingway Daiquiri is named after fellow author, Ernest Hemingway.
Gin: as with any type of cocktail, the best kind liquor is your favorite and one that YOU enjoy. Since gin is a prominent flavor, make sure to go with a high quality one as your cocktail will only taste as good as the gin.
Simple syrup: You can buy simple syrup, but it is ridiculously easy to make. Melt 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of hot water – just make sure to allow the syrup to cool before using in your drinks.
Lemon juice: As always, fresh juice will always taste best in cocktails. If you must use bottled, opt for one that is 100% juice and not from concentrate.
Bitters: I used regular aromatic bitters for this drink.
Step 1: Add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add the bitters and some ice. Shake until well chilled.
Step 3: Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.
Expert Tips and Variations
- For a beautiful twist on the Fitzgerald, try using Empress 1908 Gin, which is infused with butterfly pea flowers and has a striking indigo hue that changes color with acidic ingredients like lemon. You can also try infusing all sorts of liquors with butterfly pea flowers as I did with my Butterfly Pea Flower Infused Vodka.
- Experiment with different types of bitters to change up the flavors – something like cranberry bitters or orange bitters would also work wonderfully.
What kind of gin is best for a gin sour like a Fitzgerald cocktail?
London dry gin, such as Bombay Sapphire, is a classic choice. You can also use other gins with different flavor profiles. Something like Hendrick’s would provide notes of cucumber amongst other botanicals. And something like Teasmith Gin will provide notes of Ceylon tea, which pairs beautifully with the lemon, giving a tea and lemonade vibe.
Where can I find unique flavors of bitters?
You can find all sorts of bitters on Amazon, everything from cranberry bitters to orange bitters and even bitter sampler sets that include grapefruit, cardamom, and lime coriander bitters.
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Fitzgerald Cocktail Recipe
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- 3-4 dashes bitters
- Lemon slice for garnish (optional)
- Add the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Then fill with ice.
- Shake until well chilled.
- Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired.
- Try different types of bitters to add depth and complexity to your Fitzgerald cocktail. Cranberry bitters or orange bitters are great options to try.
- Add ice after you’ve added all of your ingredients to the cocktail shaker to prevent your drink from being diluted.