Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Fourth Regiment Cocktail

Ingredients:

1oz Rye

1oz Sweet Vermouth

1 Dash Orange Bitters

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

1 Dash Celery Bitters

Lemon twist

Instructions:

Add the bitters, rye and sweet vermouth to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Notes: 

A Manhattan variant, the Fourth Regiment Cocktail adds orange and celery bitters to a 50/50 Manhattan. As you can imagine, this makes for a much more complex flavor than the traditional Manhattan and is one of a short list of cocktails I’ve seen that calls for Celery Bitters.


  • I find that the Fourth Regiment tastes better with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. This vermouth has a smoother yet heartier taste than Dolin, but is considerably lighter than the more robust Carpano Antica.
  • This allows Cocchi Vermouth to play well with the additional bitters without overpowering their added nuances.

History:

You would think that a cocktail by the name of Fourth Regiment would have an interesting story behind it, somehow related to a group of soldiers, either named in their honor or at least something they liked to drink. While these are possibilities, I haven’t been able to find anything of this sort to tell you.

Most believe that the Fourth Regiment Cocktail dates back to the late 1800s. The oldest reference I’ve seen this one in is Drinks by Jacques Straub (1914). However, Robert Hess from drinkboy.com bought a book on ebay from ~1889 titled 282 Mixed Drinks from the Private Records of a Bartender of the Olden Days that is thought to be the first known publication of this cocktail. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find this book, but Hess seems like a stand up guy, so we’ll take his word for it. Give the Fourth Regiment Cocktail a shot when you are in the mood for something a little different than your standard Manhattan or even if just looking for an excuse to try celery bitters.

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2 Responses to “Fourth Regiment Cocktail”

  1. Viale | The Straight Up

    […] replaced by a bitter orange allspice tinged finish. The finish somehow reminds me a bit of the Fourth Regiment Cocktail, although just a tad sweeter. This is likely from the Regan’s bitters, which to my palate has a […]

    Reply

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