Boston Cocktail

The Classic Boston Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
229 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 229
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 20mg 0%
*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.)

A London dry gin and apricot brandy come together in the Boston Cocktail for a delightful little drink. The botanical aspects of the gin shine against the fruity sweetness of the brandy and grenadine, while the recipe's lemon balances everything out with a bit of tartness.

The finished flavor is a little more on the sweet side than some people may enjoy, though adjustments can be made. On the other hand, if you are one of the drinkers with a little bit of a sweet tooth, but don't want to go overboard, this is a great gin cocktail to try.


  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin

  • 1 1/2 ounces apricot brandy

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/4 ounce grenadine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, apricot brandy, lemon juice, and grenadine.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Serve and enjoy.


  • Many apricot brandies on the market are sweetened. They're more of a liqueur than a true brandy (eau de vie) and will result in a sweeter cocktail.
  • Grenadine is a pomegranate-flavored syrup that's essential for cocktails like the tequila sunrise. You can buy it at nearly any store, even many liquor stores keep it in stock. On the other hand, it's also easy to make grenadine at home using fresh pomegranate or juice.
  • Fresh lemon juice is recommended and will create a better tasting cocktail. One whole lemon should yield at least 1 3/4 ounces, so it's more than enough for a single drink.
  • Chilling your glass will help the drink stay colder. If you don't have one in the freezer, simply place a couple of ice cubes in the glass while you mix the cocktail.

Recipe Variations

  • Some Boston cocktail recipes differ on the ingredients' ratios. Any of the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your personal taste. For instance, one from the 1946 edition of "Old Mr. Boston Deluxe Bartender's Guide" is not much different from the one above. It uses 1/4 ounce each of grenadine and lemon juice.
  • Another recipe uses 1 1/2 ounce gin, 1 ounce apricot brandy, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce simple syrup, and 1/8 ounce grenadine. This will produce an even sweeter cocktail.
  • Try the Boston cocktail with regular brandy. This option will eliminate the underlying apricot flavor, but it's a good option if grape brandy is all you have in stock.
  • Replace the grenadine with a fruit liqueur if you like. For instance, a pomegranate liqueur like Pama will offer the same taste. If you use regular brandy, consider bringing back the apricot flavor with an apricot liqueur.

How Strong Is a Boston Cocktail?

Though there are two nonalcoholic mixers in the Boston Cocktail, it has a strength similar to most martini-style drinks. Generally, you can expect it to weigh in around 28 percent ABV (56 proof). That's typical of this type of cocktail, and just over half the strength of a straight shot of whiskey or tequila.