Jasmine Cocktail

Gin can often be a daunting product to many people, but that’s only because they haven’t really had a chance to have a gin based cocktail which properly uses this product. You shouldn’t have to swallow a mouthful of juniper with every gin cocktail you order. The Jasmine should provide you an opportunity to realize the value of gin.

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz Campari

1/2 oz lemon juice


Shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon wedge.


Robert Hess 17 Aug 2007
8:42 am

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also present the “original” recipe for the Jasmine. The version you see me make in this episode is one that I’ve slightly adjusted the ratios of. Here is the original recipe as designed by Paul Harrington in the 1990’s

- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1/4 ounce Cointreau
- 1/4 ounce Campari
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.


Boavida 28 Aug 2007
7:45 am

Most of my friends liked this drink, even if i couldn’t let them see me adding the gin. I tried both recipes, the one i serve is yours, with a litle less campari (1/2 oz). I believe it’s more balanced.
The one problem i’m having with this drink is concistency, always getting the same drink… but i believe that with a bit more of experience i’ll get there.

Ian 29 Aug 2007
9:25 pm

Ew, Robert, what have you done to me? Normally I trust your taste in proportions, but this one has me bothered. I’ve just made a Jasmine to your adjusted recipe, but ooh! the Campari and Cointreau come through so strongly, it reminds me of those medicinal syrups I was given as a child. I think when I make another one I will try the Paul Harrington recipe. I guess it might lead to a lighter and more fragrant result where the Campari, and to a lesser extent the Cointreau, just tweak the flavor with subtle nuances.

You probably should add a danger warning that your recipe is for Campari lovers!

Anyway, cheers! because I am really enjoying my experimentation with cocktails since I happened across your website and video productions.

Robert Hess 29 Aug 2007
9:53 pm


It’s probably just the Campari fanatic in me, but I love this drink. :-> Did you try the original “Harrington” version of this drink (recipe is in the first comment I posted here).


Ian 29 Aug 2007
10:58 pm

I’m trying the Paul Harrington recipe now, and I think it’s delicious. It’s amazing, but it looks and tastes almost exactly like red grapefruit juice! (To give readers complete information, I made it with Beefeater.)

BTW, regarding Campari, any Brit of a certain age will know and remember this TV advert from the 70’s. I don’t know if you’ve come across it before?


Todd 15 Feb 2008
8:35 pm

After seeing your intriguing Campari cocktails (this one, and the Rosita), I got myself some Campari and gave your Jasmine recipe a try.  The Cointreau definitely comes through a bit - but all in all, I really liked it - I definitely got the grapefruit allusion.  Looking forward to making another one tomorrow.
As a follow-up this evening, I’m trying a Negroni (recipe from Gary Regan’s book - equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth).  VERY interesting - not sure my palette is sophisticated enough to appreciate the bitter Campari finish on this one - but I think it will grow on me. 
Really enjoying the SmallScreenNetwork - keep up the good work Robert!
- Todd

Robert Hess 16 Feb 2008
7:48 am

Campari takes a little getting used to, but it is really a great product that I think is far underutilized. It usually is gathering dust on the shelves of bars across the country.


Stuart 16 May 2008
6:31 pm

I’m drinking this drink for the first time right now, and I’m really liking it.  I was first introduced to Campari about a month ago by your website, and after trying a couple Negronis at local bars (one bartender actually told me it was his favorite drink…but with extra Campari!), I absolutely had to go out and buy a bottle myself.  Something about me really loves the bitterness of it.  Thanks, Robert!

Iota 4 Jun 2008
5:25 pm

I suggest trying Grand Marnier or Gran Gala in place of the Cointreau, the resulting cocktail is a bit sweeter and takes some emphasis off the campari in my opinion. I like both versions, see which you prefer.

Baked 10 Jul 2008
6:09 am

I am trying something like this for the first time ever. It has been a different experience as i prepared this drink myself. It’s a bit sweet but i love the bitterness of it.

John 29 Jul 2008
12:59 am

Although I have never really tried out Gin as I find it repulsive, this one looks too good a drink to resist. Will check up for sure.

Andy K 30 Jul 2008
10:21 pm

I just had a Jasmine at ZigZag last night after watching this. It really was quite good! I suspect they use something more akin to the ‘original’ recipe as it didn’t have strong bitter notes from the campari

ram 1 Aug 2008
7:09 am

As a follow-up this evening, I

Robert Hess 1 Aug 2008
8:14 am

Ram, a properly made Negroni does have a lot of flavor action going on, and may take some time to get comfortable with for the uninitiated.

Some bartenders have taken to just using a little campari when they make their negronis in order to make them more “approachable”, but frankly that turns it into a different drink. A Negroni should always be equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, campari.


DaRiv 5 Sep 2008
8:36 am

Robert, taste differences aside, why did your recipe make it into the 2007 MOTAC Pocket Guide instead of Paul’s?  I would like to hear about the process of which recipe gets included in this canon of cocktails. 

Your recipe is significantly changing the ratios of Paul’s, some would argue it is a entirely different drink.  I do like both cocktails, but still . . .

Robert Hess 5 Sep 2008
8:52 am

DaRiv… “my” variation of the Jasmine is in the MOTAC recipe guide probably because I didn’t stop to think about it at the time :->

The process of building up the Pocket Recipe Guide was that I first submitted to the founders a list of the recipe names I thought should be included (since the book was my idea, I took the lead), we did a couple rounds of fine tuning this list, and then I collected the recipes, then I sent this list around for another vetting to make sure that nobody had any issues with the reciipes. This resulted in some additional changes and updates.

Just by the very process, the recipes in the book started with a “DrinkBoy” slant, but I tried to make sure that in the end it would embody what all of the museum’s founders felt were the key recipes that we’d like all bartenders to be aware of. In fact the “second” edition (either the slightly larger format now available on Amazon, or the “spiral bound” version available for purchase at the museum itself), is a slight update on a few of the cocktails which missed notice the first time around.

When my own book comes out in the next month or two, it will of course be much more “DrinkBoy” focused, since aside from the recipes which were submitted by various friends of mine, the rest all represent my preferences.


JoannaChi 5 Oct 2008
11:33 am

I’m going to try this cocktail next weekend.  I thoroughly recommend the Diabolique cocktail.  In my opinion it’s the best way to drink tequila.

toronto condominiums 16 Nov 2008
1:23 am

Your recipe is significantly changing the ratios of Paul

Robert Hess 16 Nov 2008
6:18 am

Toronto, it’s probably nor more of a change in ratios than the sidecar you might drink differs from its original recipe. I’ve chatted with Paul about this in the past, and he doesn’t have any problem with my variation.

Now if we could only get Paul to ge re-involved in the cocktail community!


Joe 29 Dec 2008
6:02 pm

Thanks Robert - great drink.

Where did you get that lemon squeezer?  Is it vintage or is it currently commercially available?  It looks awesome.

Robert Hess 29 Dec 2008
6:50 pm

Alas, the juicer I am using here is an antique. Guess I should start using more modern equipment just to help make things more real.

Patrick 19 Jun 2009
9:32 pm

I just made a Jasmine - the color on this thing is amazing. Really good drink. Sort of like a lighthearted Negroni. On the topic of color - any thoughts on the mini controversy over Campari switching from using a beetle-based dye to being “ARTIFICIALLY COLORED,” as the back of the bottle now proclaims? I always thought the insect dye was sort of charming.

Robert Hess 20 Jun 2009
1:08 pm

Patrick, yeah, the whole “colored with bugs” of Campari was a fun little touch, but switching to a more typical (ie. artificial) color is fine, and I think was a good business decision.

Paul Harrington 19 Oct 2009
7:15 am

If this economy stays in the tank, you may just find me behind a bar somewhere. We fiddled with video a little bit in the early days of Cocktail but it never took off like this. I love this web site. VIctoria looks like it is going to be an awesome event. If I didn’t already have plans for that weekend I would be there in a heart beat. Next year for sure. I think it will quickly become the favored cocktail event of the year if it remains focused on the creation of cocktails. Cheers to you Robert and all of the spectacular talent that you have organized for the Cocktail Spirit. BTW I just picked up a couple of copies of your book. Well done!


Robert Hess 19 Oct 2009
8:09 am

Hey Paul! You’ve been sorely missed in the cocktail world since your persuit of a “day-job”. I’m not going to be able to make the Victoria event either, but it looks like it could be a great little conference. Let us know next time you are heading over to Seattle!

Chris CV 20 Jul 2010
8:00 pm

Wow, this really does kick you in the face like a bitter grapefruit juice. 

Interestingly, it’s like the other side of a discovery I made back in college. At the time, I only enjoyed drinking straight gin, straight whiskey, or straight brandy (it’s the way of my family).  I was often left to mix random concoctions when friends only had vodka on hand.  I discovered that when I mixed vodka with Squirt or Fresca (Grapefruit soda), it had a flavor that distinctly reminded me of gin.

Anyway, I agree with Boavida that your ratio is better than Harrington’s, but still a little heavy on the Compari.  I loved your Rosita, though.

Adam Ward 7 Aug 2010
8:17 pm

Given this back and forth between Paul’s and Robert’s version of the drink I decided to conduct a little experiment. I made both versions and compared them. The differences were fairly obvious and without going into long and detailed taste profile descriptions, let me say that Robert’s is dominated by the sweetness of the cointreau and the bitterness of the campari, while Paul’s is dominated by the sourness from the lemon. If we’re seeking a well balanced drink, then interestingly enough, reducing the lemon in Paul’s version or reducing the cointreau and campari in Robert’s lead’s to roughly the same recipe. Namely equal parts cointreau, campari, and lemon juice, with some amount of gin (I’ve found that the flavour of the gin is overpowered by the strong flavours of the other ingredients and so i’d say the relative amount of gin is unimportant). This post is getting rather long so let me quickly say that after tasting a 3, 1, 1, 1 recipe (order as in Robert’s recipe above) I found that the drink either needed more cointreau or less campari. So for increasing cointreau, ie a recipe of 3, 2, 1, 1, I found the drink to be dual spirited. Namely there is a pronounced sweet start to the drink followed by an equally intense transition to bitterness courtesy of the campari. If instead we decrease the campari we’d end up with a recipe of 3, 2, 1, 2 and this recipe has a slightly different taste. Namely, although it is still sweet to start and bitter in the finish, the transition is much less drastic. This is a drink that flows smoothly through varying facies. And as you will notice it is the lemon juice that controls this flow, an ingredient that is content to stay in the background and yet plays such a dominate role in how this cocktail is interpreted.

Overall I think both of these last two drinks are good, and choosing between the two will depend entirely on personal preference; whether one likes the sudden and obvious transition from sweet to bitter as in the former recipe or the smoother and more relaxed blending of flavours from the former. And herein is the wonderful thing about the cocktail: YOU get to decide.

Vincent 9 Nov 2010
4:01 pm

I’ve tried Robert’s version of that drink first and maybe it was because I am not that accustomed to Campari, but the bitterness just kicked me in the face. Then I made the Jasmine again but I just reduced the Campire a little (1/2 instead of 3/4) as Boavida did and my oh my, I found an incredible drink, that grapefruit flavor! Having tried the Negroni and the Rosita lately, Campari is starting to grow on me so I will definitely try Robert’s ratio again.

Allyen Wilson 22 Dec 2011
5:47 pm

Mmmmmm, halfway through my first “Robert’s Jasmine” and am loving it. Last night it was the Delmonico, tonight the Jasmine, I am jumping head first on the Gin cocktail bandwagon!

jellydonut 14 Jan 2012
3:44 pm

It might just be that I am overly used to Campari at this point (as a former Campari hater), but I don’t find this drink bitter at all. It’s got a slightly bitter aftertaste. That’s it.

Snead Hearn 21 Jan 2012
6:16 pm

I find RH’s Jasmine to be the more balanced recipe. Try different gins and you’ll be amazed how different they taste. I love this cocktail made with Tanq 10 , the heavy juniper note works well with the citrus bite of wonderful cocktail.

TheBalch 28 Jan 2012
7:00 am

Hi Mr. Hess!

Gin is my favorite spirit, and this is a drink that I use to introduce friends to its many splendors! I started with Beefeater, but after a while I got an itch to explore other gins. Unfortunately, this is proving problematic: unlike whiskies, for instance, I can’t compare the flavors of two gins by drinking them by themselves. I want to find a reliable “test cocktail” that softens the gin without confounding its flavor profile. Is the gin & tonic the ideal drink for this? The gimlet? I’ve heard that not all top-shelf gins are suitable for the same drinks, so I’m a little unsure of what to do. Per your recommendation, I try not to take any shortcuts when it comes to modifiers; encountering a given product for the first time can really turn you off if it isn’t mixed with other ingredients of comparable quality.

jellydonut 28 Jan 2012
7:18 am

Personally, I find the gin and tonic is an ideal litmus test for a gin. The tonic is neutral and lets the gin tell its story. I find it easy to tell the nuances between Tanqueray, Plymouth, G’Vine, Bombay, Beefeater, et al, in a nice simple gin and tonic. With and without lime, so as to avoid the lime disturbing the gin flavors.

TheBalch 28 Jan 2012
9:12 am

Thanks, jellydonut. Something was telling me that was the way to go. Gotta love those 2-ingredient potables! I appreciate the lime tip; I associate lime & gin & tonics so closely that sometimes I forget that I’m actually adding an additional flavor to the basic ingredients.

Robert Hess 28 Jan 2012
9:45 am

These days it can become important as to which tonic you choose however! There are a variety of different “craft” tonics on the market these days, as well as home-made, which can play various roles into what might otherwise be seen as a simple highball. And then when you start to focus on the G&T itself, and not the gin within it, you can start looking at if the best garnish for it is a lime, or lemon. This can vary depending on your choice of ingredient brands.


Robert Hess 28 Jan 2012
9:55 am

TheBalch… in addition to a G&T being a good simple drink which can highlight the qualities of the gin, I also think the good old standard Martini can be useful here as well. The important bit is to make sure you add enough vermouth to overall spread out the gins flavors, but no so much as the vermouth begins to get in the way. And then another drink to try would be what I usually refer to as a Gin Daiquiri, or what you could think of as a “scratch” gimlet. Essentially gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. 2 oz gin, 3/4 oz lime, 3/4 oz simple. And then just to round things out, try a Gin Old Fashioned. There are gins that will work for some of these, but not for all of them, and then of course a good solid gin will easily shine in all three. Old Fashioned, New Fashioend, Sour, and Highball basically cover the four primary corners of the mixed drink landscape, and so can help you see the distance that each spirit is able to taverse.


jellydonut 28 Jan 2012
3:42 pm

What do you mean when you say ‘new fashioned’? I tried googling it and so far I’ve gotten three variants of the old fashioned: one with amaretto, one with grapefruit soda, one with vermouth and peach bitters. Which one are you talking about? (I take it it’s neither of these three I found)

Robert Hess 28 Jan 2012
6:10 pm

Yeah, I should have qualified that.

By “new fashioned” I was intending to describe the type of cocktail which started appearing around the 1880’s or so and made it “appropriate” to refer to the original cocktail style as “Old Fashioned”. It was during this time that cocktails like the Manhattan and Martini were coming into vogue, as well as other cocktails of a similar style.


jellydonut 28 Jan 2012
6:26 pm

oh! yeah, that makes sense.

Aaron Gardner 12 Jul 2012
3:36 pm

I visited Paul Harrington’s new bar, Clover, for the first time last night.  Of course I had to try the Jasmine, and it was phenomenal.  I enjoy the slight bite of sour the lemon juice provides, and appreciate the toned-down sweetness and bitterness of the Cointreau and Campari.  This cocktail is definitely becoming a favorite.  I even had the pleasure of meeting Paul and learning more about his passion for cocktails.  I highly recommend Clover to anyone living in or visiting Spokane, WA.

Justin Hayden 31 Aug 2012
7:45 pm

Can you share where you found that knife?  I am looking for a great knife for my home bar.  This would be perfect and I won’t need to worry about the blade.

Philip Heesen, III 21 Sep 2012
1:35 pm

Enjoying this right now for the first time in a while.  My lovely wife bought me a goody bag of booze for my birthday.  Lucky guy, right?  I decided to take the Campari and Cointreau down a 1/4 oz each today and the cocktail is still great.  Awesome cocktail!

Bodyslam 16 May 2013
3:30 pm

I really enjoy your videos. Cruising through the back pages I came across this one. The Jasmine is one of my favorite cocktails. I have tried it with varying proportions, and settled on something closer to the original, maybe just dialing back the lemon a bit, and occasionally upping the gin to 2 oz. It works well with several gins, though not all. Now that Tanqueray Malacca is available again, it gives me another excuse to serve this drink. Bottoms up!

Zakhia 28 Nov 2013
4:40 am

I really enjoy your videos an in Ghana and its so hard getting some of your ingredients but just made the jasmine and I must say after a 2:1 Tangueray martini this must be my favorite cocktail its a shame its not more popular.
Ps I love campari

Small Screen Colin 28 Nov 2013
7:26 am


Glad you are enjoying our videos!
The Jasmine is one of our favorites as well.

Thank you for watching!

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