The million dollar cocktail is a fantastic drink in a true classic style. It adds a bit of pineapple to a combination of gin, sweet vermouth, and egg white and it's a fabulous blast from the past!
This recipe appeared in Harry Craddock's famous "Savoy Cocktail Book" which was printed in 1930 and specified Plymouth Gin. The drink seems to date to the 1920s, though, and there are two opposing stories about its creation.
One credits Ngiam Tong Boon, a Singapore bartender of the early 20th century who created the famous Singapore sling. The other says it was the brainchild of Louis Eppinger who created the bamboo cocktail and made his mark on the bartending scene while working at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan. Most cocktail historians lean toward the Eppinger story today.
No matter who created it, the million dollar cocktail is a great drink. It doesn't cost much to make it, but you will enjoy a very luxurious experience!
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the gin, sweet vermouth, pineapple juice, egg white, and grenadine.
Shake vigorously, for at least 30 seconds, to froth up the egg white.
Serve and enjoy.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.
- Though Plymouth Gin may have been used originally, dry gin is most often poured in this recipe today. Try it with both styles, just make sure that the gin is top-shelf in order to create the best drink.
- Before mixing any cocktail with an egg, test it for freshness. All you need to do is place an egg in a glass of water; it's fresh if it sinks and should be discarded if it floats to the top.
- Quite often, egg cocktails receive a dry shake before adding ice. This is a good option and it's easy: Combine the ingredients in the shaker but hold the ice, shake well, then add ice and shake again for 30 seconds.
- In many of the million dollar cocktail recipes, the ratio of the ingredients is slightly different. For instance, one uses 1/2 ounce each of sweet vermouth and pineapple juice. Try this and make more adjustments to suit your personal taste if needed.
- Inspired by the original recipe, Dallas bartender George Kaiho created his own version. Featured in Imbibe, the recipe switches to Bols Genever and pours Cherry Heering rather than sweet vermouth. It also skips the grenadine.
- Another version that has circulated for years give the pineapple-egg white spin to the perfect martini. To make it, shake 1 ounce gin, 1/4 ounce each of dry and sweet vermouths, 1/2 ounce pineapple juice, and a dash each of egg white and Angostura Bitters. Strain into a chilled glass.
How Strong Is a Million Dollar Cocktail?
Adding an egg white not only gives a cocktail a frothy top, but it also helps knock down the alcohol content. With it, the million dollar cocktail should shake up to 19 percent ABV (38 proof) or so. That makes it one of the lighter options in the classic martini family, which can easily reach 60 proof.