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F. Scott Fitzgerald is most famously known for The Great Gatsby, and the Baz Lurhman version that came out this summer was fantastic. It perfectly pictured the jazz age, or at least how it’s entered our cultural consciousness. I don’t care if it’s historically accurate, it was a beautiful film.

Fitzgerald was born into the upper crust of society and was named after a distant relative: Francis Scott Key. As Fitzgerald entered his teenage years, his father lost his job and his family moved back to the sin cities of Minnesota aka Minneapolis St. Paul. Fitzgerald’s family was rich enough to know about the parties but weren’t always invited and even when they were, Fitzgerald didn’t always feel like he belonged. J.T. Miller from Princeton considered Fitzgerald as someone who “peered through the window at the rich.” This is the image of Fitzgerald that I have always been left with, someone privileged enough to know that the party was occurring, but not always invited or fitting in.

The Fitzgerald Cocktail

2 oz gin.
0.75 oz Simple Syrup
0.75 oz Lemon Juice
2 drops Angostura bitters

Shake over ice and pour into a cocktail strainer.


The drink itself. This drink is fantastic. I would serve it to anyone, even if they told me they didn’t like gin. The simple syrup and the lemon juice cut the potency of the flavor of juniper berries. The drink is really beautiful and really nice. After reading the bottle bar’s blog post on it, it’s also a great drink to play around with. I have not done this, but it sounds like a great idea.

When I originally found this drink it was listed as a “forgotten gin cocktail.” It’s not a classic cocktail. It was created by Dale DeGroff, and as far as I have found, it was first printed in his The Craft of the Cocktail in 2002. It’s a great drink, just not a classic one.

The reason that we might think that it’s a classic cocktail, is because it’s a very slight variation on the sour, which is a pre-prohibition recipe. A sour is a class of cocktails like a martini. I found the sour listed in The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book 1935 Reprint. The basic recipe is

Juice of one half lemon
One-half spoon sugar
One jigger of the liquor.

It’s a really basic twist on an old drink. The lack of innovation in the cocktail or the fact it’s so new, does not make it less of a fantastic drink. Even though it’s a new drink, it’s a great cocktail for a 20s or classic cocktail party. All of the ingredients were there, it’s just that until DeGroff, no one had put it together.


Gin: $20 for a 750 mL bottle
1 Lemon: $0.50 (currently in season)
Simple Syrup:
Sugar: $4.00
Water: Check your local water bill
Bitters: $5.99
Total Cost: 30.49

Cost per drink:

1.60: Gin
0.50: Lemon
0.44: Sugar
0.10: Water
0.01: Bitters
2.65 per drink.

As always, happy and safe drinking.