Fairbank Cocktail

By Robert Hess

This cocktail was believed to have been named after Douglas Fairbanks Sr. If that was the case, then why is it “Fairbank” and not “Fairbanks”? An alternate story says it was named after Charles Warren Fairbank, who was Theodore Roosevelt’s vice president.



1 1/2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce dry vermouth

2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

2 dashes crème de noyeux


Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a cherry (although I forgot to).

Ginty 23 Aug 2012
12:51 pm

Ahhh, Creme de Noyeux. Yet ANOTHER ingredient I can’t get in Canada. Anyone know a decent sorce in the States incase I do some cross border shopping?

steve7500 23 Aug 2012
2:32 pm

  Canada is a big place. If you live in Ontario, a plus. I am in Detroit. I am sure you get the picture. Glad to help.

Ginty 24 Aug 2012
2:10 pm

I am in Ontario, but I’m fortunate to get around. Any leads by the borders would be great. Even anyplace in California, I think I’ll be out there sometime soon.

steve7500 25 Aug 2012
8:25 am

Ginty, I’ll get back to you today. Check this site.  I am going to the Wine Shop in a few mins to check for SNAP, so I will check the other for both of us.

steve7500 25 Aug 2012
10:16 am

Well Ginty,this is your lucky day - I found it and it is less than $8.00 (US) for one Liter.
I couldn’t believe it. I think it is a Hiram Walker Brand so am surprised it’s not in Canada.
I found it in Rochester Hills, MI at Red Wagon Wine Shoppe. If you cross at Sarnia it will only be an hour + a few mins. If you cross at the tunnel , it is N.on I-75 about 35 Miles,easy drive. A nice store with min state prices so you might even find a few other items while you are there. Adieu

Ginty 1 Sep 2012
2:36 pm

Woah, thanks Steve! I appreciate the detective work. I might be that way soon, so I’ll be sure to stop by. Ha! You’d be surprised how many Canadian products we DON’T have access to in Ontario. The LCBO is run by idiots.

steve7500 2 Sep 2012
6:29 am

Anytime my friend.

Uncle Sanguine 13 Sep 2012
8:18 pm

I live in Winnipeg, and I usually frequent Happy Harry’s in Fargo, ND, when I go shopping over the border.  Its a liquor store the size of a Toys R Us.  They have alot of things that I can’t get here in Canada.

steve7500 13 Sep 2012
8:43 pm

Do they have a web site and do they ship out of state ?

Martinobal 12 Nov 2014
4:23 pm

Hi, Robert. I have a doubt about storing dry vermouth in the fridge. I also asked in The Chanticleer Society a few days ago, sorry for asking twice, but I really want to know this.

So, in your videos you recommend storing vermouth in the fridge, which sounds like a good idea. But then I remember that in your article “The Perfect Martini” you stress that water is very important to a Martini, and lament that some people “are so intent on making a really cold martini that they store the gin and cocktail shaker in the freezer, and the Vermouth in the refrigerator.”

So, if I’m making a dry Martini and I store the vermouth in the fridge, as you recommend, won’t it get too little water from the ice? Should I take some vermouth and let it warm up before I use it? should I add some extra water?

Robert Hess 12 Nov 2014
6:18 pm


Very good question! The big issue with the pre-chilled martini process is more the spirits in the freezer than the vermouth in the fridge. While storing your vermouth in the fridge will start things off cold enough to impact the ice-dilution effect, it won’t be by a lot. You could simply add a splash of water to bring things back into balance, or simply stir it for a little longer.

If you want to geek out about this, try an experiment where you make your martini first with room temp vermouth, and then measure it after you are done. Then make one with cold vermouth, and measure it (stirring exactly the same time/frequency, which can be hard). The difference in volume will be the difference in ice-dilution. Using that as a starting point, make a third one, this time stirring for a longer time, and measure it again. You can now use the delta between the two in order to find out approximately how much longer you need to stir in order to achieve the same ice-dilution as with room temp vermouth… noting of course that thermal transfer is not strictly linear, but for this situation it should suffice to treat it as such.


Martinobal 17 Nov 2014
12:16 pm

Thanks, Robert! I think I’ll just add water ad libitum to my Martinis :) But indeed, it would be nice to do the experiment you describe, maybe with a stirring magnet and standard-sized icecubes.

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