Royalist Cocktail

Invented by W.J. Tarling, author of The Café Royal Cocktail Book (1937), the Royalist Cocktail is similar to a Manhattan. The use of Peach bitters in lieu of Angostura as well as the use of dry instead of sweet vermouth are the obvious differences. Benedictine offers a touch of sweetness and spice to what is a delightful cocktail.

1 1/2 oz dry vermouth

3/4 oz George Dickel Whisky

3/4 oz Benedictine

dash peach bitters


  • stir with ice
  • strain into a cocktail glass

  • Comments

    Johnathan 6 Sep 2011
    10:05 am

    This looks delicious. Where can I find a mixing pitcher like that one? Have you considered marketing your own brand high quality barware?

    Robert Hess 6 Sep 2011
    10:45 am

    This is a “Yari” mixing glass that I got from Here is a link to it:

    Rhett 7 Sep 2011
    12:34 am

    Robert, I have to ask…
    why do you choose to use Martini & Rossi? I feel (or rather, my taste buds do) that it’s the most awful tasting of any vermouth I have tried, and I consistently ruined cocktails with it until I discovered much nicer and just as affordable vermouths, for example Noilly Prat dry or Cinzano sweet. As well, I’ve had a few bartender friends concur that Martini & Rossi is garbage and I shouldn’t be using it unless I’m forced to…
    So, I’m very curious! Do you actually like the flavour? Or is it perhaps a sponsor of the show?...

    Really enjoy your show and the whole SSN! You guys have helped bridge the gap for me from cocktail hobby to cocktail passion and lifestyle!


    Robert Hess 7 Sep 2011
    5:42 am

    Rhett, I actually like Martini & Rossi, for sweet vermouth, it has been my go-to for many years. In the past, I would have used Nolly Prat for dry, but I’ve found that since their change in formula here in the US, it doesn’t work as good. I still like it, but differently. I’m personally not a fan of Cinzano, although I think it is a decent product. Dollin dry and sweet are perhaps the best of the “commonly available” vermouths out there, but they are still hard enough to find that I don’t want to scare folks away thinking that they need to find Dollin to make the drinks I show.

    Benjamin D. 7 Sep 2011
    11:14 am

    Since we’re on the topic of vermouth, can I get your opinion of bianco vermouth, Robert? I’ve noticed that you have never use it. I imagine that in a drink like this with so much benedictine that bianco would simply make it too sweet. But are there any cocktails you would indeed recommend for it? On a side note, bianco is so popular with women in Russia that if you order a martini at a bar (unless it’s specifically a cocktail bar like Help), you’d end up with Martini & Rossi’s bianco vermouth on the rocks. I kid you not.

    Robert Hess 7 Sep 2011
    11:23 am

    Benjamin, I don’t have any drinks I do that use Bianco. It “can” substitute for vermouth in general. If you think about drinks like the manhattan, dry manhattan, and perfect manhattan, you are already bouncing the overall vermouth character all over the place with them, so simply using bianco is technically not that far of a stretch.

    You have the same problem with a “Martini” almost anywhere in Europe I’ve found. After having countless glasses of vermouth after asking for a Martini, I finally once tried to control the situation by ordering a Gin Martini from a bartender in England… after quizzical stares and confusion, they finally realized what I was wanting. They had been hearing me order a “Ginny Martin”, which they had no idea what it was.

    Rhett 7 Sep 2011
    3:50 pm

    Interesting! Thanks for the feedback. For the most part lately I’ve been using Punt e Mes for sweet vermouth, which is a treat - especially in a Manhattan (and you can switch the Angostura for orange bitters too). I had the pleasure of having a Manhattan with Carpano Antica the other day, which was wonderful (but would cost me $90 for a bottle if I wanted it for my own bar).
    I didn’t know that Noilly Prat changed their formula in the US.
    Here in Canada it basically costs your soul to buy most everything - if you can find it at all (it’s only the last few months it seems that I’ve been able to get American rye in our non-independent liquor stores… and it still costs more than double what I’ve found in the states!).
    Thankfully the situation is getting better and better with the increase of general interest in mixology and cocktails, and there are more and more amazing bars and bartenders here in Vancouver. Sadly, B.C. has the most expensive liquor prices in Canada though, and I think I will just have to resort to visiting Seattle to stock up ;)
    Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks again, and I look forward to more delicious cocktails!

    Robert Hess 8 Sep 2011
    5:41 am

    Carpano Antica is indeed a wonderful sweet vermouth. I am so glad that it is becoming slightly more available these days, even if it isn’t quite as available as I’d like it. And $90 a bottle sounds outrageously expensive! I thought liquor costs were high here in Washington State… ouch!

    Punt e Mes is a nice item as well… although I feel that it’s fairly robust flavor doesn’t work as a simple replacement for sweet vermouth. You need to be careful with its use.

    blair frodelius 9 Sep 2011
    2:28 pm

    I enjoy vermouth based cocktails quite a bit, especially before dinner.  One of my favourites is the Tip-Top cocktail which I’ve been making quite a lot recently.  In fact, I made one for someone who doesn’t even like cocktails, and normally only drinks wine and beer, and they were converted!

    My “go to” vermouths are Noilly Prat for dry and Martini & Rossi for sweet; but I will always choose Carpano Antica or Dolin if they are available.  I’ve even substituted Lillet Blanc and Dubonnet Rouge if I suddenly run out of vermouth.  They make for entirely different drinks, but suffice.



    Adam 11 Sep 2011
    9:07 am

    Funny you should have the problems you’ve had ordering a martini.  I’ve had people ask me for a “dry martini.”  It was only after confused stares when I asked what their favourite gin was that I came to the realisation they wanted Martini Extra Dry on ice with lemon.
    Usually this is a problem with Eastern Europeans.

    jrwerther 13 Sep 2011
    12:37 pm

    I somewhat have the same opinion as Rhett. I consider Martini and Rossi white as “basic” dry vermouth (it’s the very dominant sale in France) but the “extra dry” you’re using is quite harsh. I was happy when the bottle was finally empty, and I mostly used it as a replacement for Noilly Prat in classical cooking recipe (Beurre blanc au Noilly, a very french cooking sauce to eat fish with : : try it with google translation if you’re not fluent in french) .
    Maybe in this particular cocktail, it might make a difference in the good way, balancing the Bénédictine more than the “dry M & R” I’ve used, making it overall a little too sweet to my taste. I’ll buy another bottle of extra dry and see if two year of carefully watching your show educated my taste enough to appreciate this difficult mixer.

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