Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Recipes for cocktails can be found in the strangest places. The recipe for the Fourth Regiment Cocktail was found in a small book titled “282 Mixed Drinks from the Private Records of a Bartender of the Olden Days” Robert Hess purchased on Ebay. Written around 1889, the seller found this little treasure in a home they had recently purchased.

Watch Jamie Boudreau make the Fourth Regiment Cocktail


1 ounce rye whiskey

1 ounce sweet vermouth

1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

1 dash The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

1 dash The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.


jellydonut 30 Aug 2011
7:11 am

I’m surprised to see you make such a ‘wet’ drink - I’d expect you to alter the old recipe to one where the spirit dominates.

Thanks to TBT’s traveller’s kit, I have all three bitters in my possession. Perhaps I should make one of these..

jellydonut 30 Aug 2011
7:22 am

By the way, you totally forgot the lemon twist listed in the ingredients! ^_^

Robert Hess 30 Aug 2011
7:27 am

I always say that cocktails should “celebrate” the spirit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the spirit should “dominate” the drink. There are many drinks that I do which are on the “wet” side, my own “Black Feather” is one great example of that. And a good Martini always has a hefty dose of vermouth in it as well. In my videos here on Small Screen Network I show a 3 to 1 ratio Martini, but I also love a good “fity-fity’ (half gin and half vermouth) Martini as well. This drink was popularized by the Pegu Club in New York, and has since gained a following across the country. The secret of course is using a good gin, and fresh vermouth.


Robert Hess 30 Aug 2011
7:28 am

garnish… Duh-Oh!

jellydonut 30 Aug 2011
11:52 am

I suppose - I apologize if I seemed confrontational.

I just butchered this recipe a bit, as I a) don’t have rye and b) don’t like sweet nor dry vermouth. Since there are soo many (legitimate) variations of the Manhattan (dry, sweet, rum, scotch, bourbon, brandy) I figured.. how bad can mine be?

1 oz bourbon (I borrowed Jim Beam black from my dad as I do not have any bourbon either)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
One dash of each of the bitters - again, thanks to the TBT kit I actually for once have all the same bitters you do!

Despite its relative strength compared to most of the cocktails I make, I really like this little invention. The strength of the alcohol comes through as more of a warmth than a burn. (or that might just be me maturing as a drinker..)

Thomas Fondano 31 Aug 2011
7:04 pm

I’d love to try this. What are the Creole bitters like? How do the Bitter Truth orange and celery bitters differ from Fee Bros. Bitters?

I was also happy to see that I have that same set of cocktail glasses.

Adam 1 Sep 2011
6:49 am

Haven’t compared the Celery Bitters to each other, but after trying Fee’s Orange and TBT Orange found the latter to be far superior.

I will certainly be buying the bigger bottle to fill my own Travel Set back up when it runs low.

Thomas Fondano 1 Sep 2011
6:57 am

I realized as soon as I posted it that I’ve never knowingly had Fee Bros. orange bitters either. I use Regan’s No. 6 at home.

Robert Hess 1 Sep 2011
7:44 am

Thomas, TBT Creole Bitters are similar to Peychaud’s, and are a suiteable replacement in any cocktail that would typically use Peychaud’s (just as TBT Aromatic is a suiteable replacement for Angostura).

If you compare the various orange bitters out there, you will often find quite a wide range in flavors. Fee’s is aggressive in it’s flavor, and a little on the sweet side. Regan’s has a more forward cardamom flavor, TBT and Angostura are more complex. etc. There are cases where one brand will work slightly better than another, or at the very least result in a slightly different characteristic in the drink.

I don’t think I’ve had any celery bitters besides TBT, so I can’t comment on differences there.

Personally, I think it is a good idea for serious cocktail enthusiasts to have a wide selection of bitters at hand, if for no other reason than to have a good working knowledge of the different products and their different characters.

Adam 1 Sep 2011
3:20 pm

Fee’s Orange is certainly very sweet (Not as much as their Peach, which I could probably drink neat) and I’m putting this down to the high level of glycerin used in Fee’s products combined with the subsequent lower ABV.

I bought Angostura Orange because it was cheap - <£6 - compared to TBT at more than double that.  However if I could have tasted them both, I would have saved up for TBT.  It just seems more rounded.  Exactly like orange oils.

I’m yet to try Regan’s.

Dinah (MetaGrrrl/Bibulous) 29 Nov 2011
5:44 pm

I find Peychaud’s a little sweet with an aftertaste that to me seems artificial somehow. I vastly prefer TBT Creole Bitters.

Another couple reasons for having a great variety of bitters is so that you can use them to add complexity to non-alcoholic drinks (for those laden with cars or unborn children) and to make your soda water taste so nice you don’t waste calories on soda that you could be spending on cocktails later. ;)

Rhett 11 Jan 2012
2:13 am

Finally got around to trying this cocktail (with Peychaud’s, Regan’s Orange #6, BT Celery, and Old Overholdt)...
it’s so complex and interesting! I love it. I noticed the comment about this being a “wet” drink, not having the spirit dominate, etc, but I feel actually the rye character is very prominent. This is definitely one I have to show off…
Thanks, Robert!


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