Classic Saratoga Cocktail

Classic Saratoga 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)
182 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*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.)

This is the classic recipe for a Saratoga cocktail. It combines everything that's great about the Manhattan and metropolitan recipes into one glass to create a sensational drink both whiskey and brandy lovers will enjoy.

The recipe dates to the 1880s, making its first print appearance in Jerry Thomas' "Bar-Tenders Guide." The story goes that it was created in Saratoga Springs, New York, the 19th-century vacation and gambling hot spot often compared to Las Vegas today.

In the Saratoga, you'll simply pour equal amounts of brandy, whiskey, and sweet vermouth, adding a couple of dashes of bitters to marry the flavors. Rye whiskey is often preferred, though some people enjoy it with a bold bourbon.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour the brandy, whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

  3. Stir well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Twist a lemon or orange peel over the glass and drop it into the drink. Serve and enjoy.


  • For some drinkers, this cocktail is not an immediate hit but they fall for it once a certain combination of brandy and whiskey is used. It's rather finicky that way, so experiment with different pairings to find your ideal Saratoga.
  • Try various sweet vermouths as well.
  • A well-chilled glass will also create a better tasting cocktail from beginning to end. Since cocktail glasses may not fit in a crowded freezer, you might be better off with a quick chill: Place ice cubes in the glass while you mix, then dump them before straining.

Recipe Variation

  • If you prefer, shake this cocktail rather than stirring it. That extra dilution from the agitation can really help marry the flavors.
  • Serve this cocktail on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass. It's another preference often employed with the Manhattan and is especially enjoyable with large cubes or ice balls that melt slowly.

How Strong Is a Saratoga Cocktail?

Like any cocktail in the martini family, this is a power-packed drink. If you make it with 80-proof brandy and whiskey (the lowest available for both spirits), its alcohol content is a hefty 27 percent ABV (54 proof). Taking that up a notch with a bourbon, it can reach 30 percent ABV (60 proof). You'll definitely want to savor this one slowly because a few rounds will quickly add up.