Guion Cocktail

This drink was named for a member of the family which founded the Guion Line, a steamship company which operated from 1866 to 1892 and was one of the primary steamship lines providing transportation from London to New York. This drink was probably created at the Waldorf Astoria bar.


1 1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth

dash of Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

1 bar spoon of Benedictine (on top)


Stir first three ingredients with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Float the Benedictine on top.


Steven D. Lauria 30 Aug 2012
11:40 am

Nice job, R"obert, and, as always, thank you for uncovering yet another fine cocktail…this time from the Golden Era of Cocktails.  I find it curious that this cocktial was thought up maybe just a few years before the martini—- gin, dry vermouth, organge bitters, orange-peel garnish. So, the person who thought up this one for the shipping family undoubtedly knew about the martini…and built upon it.  Don’t you think so?

Robert Hess 30 Aug 2012
1:58 pm

Steven, the similarities between this and a martini are of course obvious. When this drink was actually created is less so. It certainly post-dates the martini, probably closer to 1910 or so. If you look through the Waldorf bar book, or the Savoy cocktail book, you will ser a LOT of recipes that are for all intents a martini by a different name. I often wonder if bartenders were mixing martinis for customers and simply telling them
... “yeah… This is a new drink I created just for you….thats right….”

Steven D. Lauria 30 Aug 2012
7:11 pm

Thanks, Robert. Yes. (I made a mistake when writing the first missive to you: Martini first, then this Guion.) Now, I understand that there were a lot more very similar cocktails to follow.

steve7500 4 Sep 2012
12:56 pm

Robert, I reserved comment after watching this - not sure if it appealed to me or if I was just curious. Well,I made it last night and loved it ! I tried it with two different brands of gin and what a big difference. I am out of your recommend Plymouth so I used Hendricks & Beefeater - the Beefeater won hands down in this cocktail. I do like Hendricks gin and always have it on hand as I normally do with Plymouth.Hendricks was very pronounced in this drink,the Beefeater was not. You were spot on when you said the Benedictine was very bold. It is but, it is really made for this role. I can’t understand why I haven’t heard of this before.
Keep up the good work.

Robert Hess 5 Sep 2012
10:04 am

It is always interesting to see how different products play in different drinks. It is especially interesting to see whe a product (like a gin) that you’ve decided is your overall favorite may not work as well in a drink as another product. Which can make it difficult to have just a single “go to” gin in your cupboard.

steve7500 7 Sep 2012
7:10 am

Thanks for the reply. I really like this cocktail and the ingredients are easy to keep on hand. I’m going to the store tomorrow and will buy PLYMOUTH GIN and give that a try.

Celestino 17 Sep 2013
3:08 am

So I made this cocktail just now:

I gotta say, not a “simple” drink to enjoy. As a pre-dinner cocktail this works beautifully! Gotta make a pair of these (instead of the usual Manhattans) next time I have friends over for a dinner.

Good job, Robert!

Thomas Fondano 21 Mar 2015
8:40 am

I’ve been making a nearly identical with a tsp of maraschino liqueur (stirred in) in place of the Benedictine. It’s amazing how every time I think I’ve come up with a good simple variation on a classic cocktail there always seems to one very similar already.

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