Ritz Bijou

The Bijou is a classic, but not terribly common cocktail. Dale DeGroff recently released a new book “The Essential Cocktail”, in which he presents classic cocktails along with several variations which illustrate how one recipe can be used as a springboard to other creations. He presents the “Ritz Bijou” as one such variation, and it is an excellent drink to become familiar with.


1 1/2 oz Hendrick’s Gin

3/4 oz dry vermouth

3/4 oz orange curaƧao

dash Angostura Orange Bitters


  • stir with ice
  • strain into cocktail glass
  • garnish with a brandied cherry
  • Comments

    DJ HawaiianShirt 10 Feb 2009
    6:18 am

    So Robert, which is it?  Orange bitters or Angostura bitters?  Your video and the recipe on the page are at odds.

    I want the answer to be Angostura.

    Robert Hess 10 Feb 2009
    6:30 am

    DJ… a bit of honest confusion there. I am using “Angostura Orange Bitters” in this cocktail. While Angostura has long been known for their single cocktails bitters, they recently released a new “orange bitters” (which means we need to start refering to their older bitters as “aromatic bitters”).

    While Angostura is working hard to get it distributed at most stores who already sell their normal bitters, AOB might still be hard to find in some areas of the US. But you can pick it up on Kegworks.com if you can’t find it in a store near you.

    Small Screen Colin 10 Feb 2009
    6:36 am

    Sorry about the typo in the recipe area. I have made the change. Thanks for your keen eye!

    Kimberly Patton-Bragg 10 Feb 2009
    6:51 am

    How elegant! I will be making these tonight! By the way, the new format looks great.

    blair frodelius 10 Feb 2009
    7:43 am

    I like the cocktail glass you’re using!  Are these available anywhere?

    Also, you could try using clear curacao or blue to get a different look.



    Robert Hess 10 Feb 2009
    9:11 am

    Sigh… these glasses are unfortunately antiques that I picked up. Most of the glasses you’ll see me using this season will be antiques that I’ve picked up from various places.

    I would love to be using “currently available” glassware, but all of the ones easily available are either boring “V"s, too big, or both. Glass size is pretty important to me, with a 6.5 oz glass about the largest I like to use, and a 4.5 oz glass being my preferred size. So you can just imagine my frustration when most of the glassware available is 10 or 12 ounces.

    Matt 10 Feb 2009
    11:58 am

    Well then Robert, I think that means you need to start making your own glasses and selling them.

    I know I’d buy some. It’s really hard to find good cocktail glasses.

    Perry 10 Feb 2009
    1:22 pm

    This drink looks great; all my favorite ingredients. I have enjoyed the unique taste of Hendricks gin in a number of cocktails. Thanks for documenting another one!

    I noted the use of my preferred dry vermouth, Noilly Pratt. I thought I’d pass along what I read recently regarding this perfect-for-martini dry vermouth. Some genius at the company decided it was time to streamline their product line. The U.S. will now be shipped the same product they sell in Europe which apparently tastes quite different. The labeling will be a little different.

    To delay the inevitable, I went long on Noilly Pratt and purchased a good number of bottles. I’m storing them in my basement fridge. Will this keep them good for a couple of years? Is my thinking they are like wine accurate?  I’m hoping another genius will create a new perfect-for-martini vermouth in the interim.

    Thanks again for the great presentation; like the new look of the site too.

    Chris Milligan 10 Feb 2009
    3:11 pm


    Good to see you back, and your new teamates are fabulous.  Keep up the excellent work. 


    Robert Hess 10 Feb 2009
    4:35 pm

    Perry, don’t immediately dismiss the incoming Noilly Prat simply because we are getting a new/old formulation. Different isn’t always bad. I haven’t had a chance to try the new product yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will produce a Martini which benefits from having more than a “whisper” of vermouth in it.

    John Dennis 13 Feb 2009
    3:18 pm

    Perry, please contact me at the store.

    Thanks John

    Chris Milligan 18 Mar 2009
    12:49 pm

    Robert, I had to double back on a comment you made about glassware size.

    I was out the other night with a friend.  I ordered a Manhattan, and I noticed the size of the cocktail glass being fairly large.  When I ordered my second drink I paid more attention to the bartender, and the mixing.  The mixing glass was 3/4 full with ice and covered by the bourbon.  When I got home I measured this, and it came out to approximately 4 oz of base spirit to “fill the glass”

    There is a point where the glass is definately too big (not to mention the irresponsible service!!) 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 is just right.


    Kramer Darragh 9 Sep 2009
    3:38 pm

    Great cocktail.  Thank you for continuing to introduce me to excellent cocktails.  It was a pleasure to meet you at the Tales.

    eddie delisio 20 Jan 2010
    12:29 pm

    Seems to be a less bitter version of the original and maybe more palatable to most. I was told the name bijou refers to the 3 colors of the original recipe and thus the namesake is lost in this version. The chartreuse represents emeralds, gin =diamonds, sweet vermouth =rubies (i believe). Hence the name jewel has significance. Probably worth noting.

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