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The Fitzgerald Cocktail

Admittedly, 2019 was not a prolific year for Molecular Drinking. To help get 2020 off to a more auspicious start, our Meyer lemon tree decided to be absurdly prolific in 2019. So, with an abundance of lemons in hand, we had to find a drink. A little digging turned up a cocktail by bartending legend, Dale DeGroff from his days behind the bar at the Rainbow Room in the early ’90’s. In his book The Essential Cocktail, he tells the story that there was a tradition at the time of inventing cocktails on the fly for customers who requested it. Apparently one night he was completely in the weeds, when a customer said he was bored with a gin and tonic. Figuring that a gin sour was a little too straightforward, he added a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters, exotic at the time and the Fitzgerald was born. It later went on to a spot on the Rainbow Room cocktail menu.


  • 2 oz. London dry gin
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Shake all the ingredients together with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garish with a twist of lemon.

With the sweeter Meyer lemons, I increased the lemon juice to 1 oz. and decreased the simple syrup (1:1) to 0.5 oz. The Angostura bitters really do make all the difference. A Fitzgerald really is a great way to kick off the new year.

Happy 2020!

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