Abbey Cocktail

Classic Abbey Cocktail

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Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
157 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 12mg 61%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 87mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The abbey cocktail makes an excellent brunch cocktail that gives gin a lively kiss of orange. It's fantastically simple and the recipe can easily become a new favorite for the midmorning meal, especially when you're ready for something beyond mimosas.

This recipe comes from Harry Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book," which was published in 1930. It's a beautiful gin martini with Lillet Blanc and orange juice. The orange bitters set it off perfectly, leaving you with a lovely old-fashioned cocktail that is satisfying and an absolute delight to drink. Plus, there is an easier version (if you don't have Lillet) and a few ways to tweak it to perfectly suit your taste.


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin

  • 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc

  • 3/4 ounce orange juice

  • 2 dashes orange bitters

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, Lillet Blanc, orange juice, and orange bitters. Fill with ice.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with the cherry. Serve and enjoy.


  • As with any martini, your best abbey cocktail will use premium gin as a base.
  • Some drinkers prefer a very botanical-heavy gin like the London dry style while others prefer something softer so the botanicals don't fight the orange juice. Explore all of the gin options to see which you like best. Don't forget about Plymouth Gin or genever, both of which were very common in classic drinks.
  • Lillet Blanc is a fortified wine that's famously called for in James Bond's Vesper martini. Similar to dry vermouth, it has a sweet orange note that's ideal for this cocktail.
  • Since this drink relies on the orange juice, fresh is best. The average orange yields 2 to 3 ounces of juice, so squeezing one fruit will be enough for a few cocktails.

Recipe Variations

  • Cocchi Americano is a perfect substitute for Lillet Blanc and actually has a bitterness that was lost in Lillet's current recipe. The original abbey cocktail called for Kina Lillet, which included quinine (responsible for the dry bitterness of tonic water). For a seemingly more authentic taste, then, Cocchi is the better choice.
  • In a pinch, dry vermouth will do just fine as a Lillet substitute.
  • One version of the abbey cocktail is a little simpler, but it's equally fantastic. To make this drink, shake 2 ounces of gin, 1 1/2 ounces of orange juice, and two dashes of orange bitters.
  • If you pour gin, orange juice, and sweet vermouth in equal amounts, you have a wonderful 1930s cocktail called the orange blossom. That recipe is also sometimes called an abbey cocktail.

How Strong Is an Abbey Cocktail?

The abbey cocktail falls within a range that's typical of martinis made with fruit juice. When made with the average 80-proof gin, its alcohol content is 20 percent ABV (40 proof) or so. That's not a light drink and twice as potent as a glass of wine.

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