Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Lucien Gaudin

Lucien Gaudin


1oz Gin

.5oz Campari

.5oz Cointreau

.5oz Dry Vermouth

Orange Twist

Add the gin, Campari, Cointreau and dry vermouth to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Orange citrus botanical nose. The first thing you taste is gin, followed by a complex rush of orange citrus, that is at first sweet, thanks to Cointreau but finishes bitter from Campari. To further break down the taste of this one, think about a Negroni with more modern ratios (higher gin). Swap the sweet vermouth for Dry vermouth and accent the orange in the Campari with Cointreau. In summary, a crude yet semi accurate description of Lucien Gaudin would be a hybrid between the Negroni and Martini, but more “orangey.” If you are at all a fan of the Negroni, Boulevardier, Old Pal, or like Martini’s and Campari, you owe it to yourself to try Lucien Gaudin. It’s dangerously good.

Français : Lucien Gaudin, escrimeur.

Français : Lucien Gaudin, escrimeur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The oldest reference I can find Lucien Gaudin in is Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide (1948); however, many suspect that this cocktail surfaced sometime during prohibition, likely in France, given that it is named after Lucien Gaudin, a French Olympic fencer who won gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games.

Outside of fencing, Gaudin’s life as a banker was short lived; he committed suicide in 1934, supposedly secondary to financial issues. A sad story demonstrating a swift fall from greatness, let’s raise a glass to celebrate this Olympian and enjoy this amazing cocktail in Gaudin’s honor.

Lucien Gaudin 2


A simple variation I enjoy is to substitute Amaro CioCiaro for Campari to make it more of a digestif. The orange from the CioCiaro keeps the flavor similar to the original, but the heavier base and sweetness make for a different take. To this end Amaro Nonino would also be a nice substitution, while still keeping some of the orange flavor.

Lucien Ciociaro


Mild orange nose. The dry light and airy taste of gin and dry vermouth are counteracted by the Amaro CioCiaro and Cointreau. Some how this one manages to be light and dry and first, but then it becomes heavier with an orange caramel finish with just the slightest bitterness. Overall this one falls more toward the sweet side but simultaneously tastes both lighter and heavier than expected. Recommended more as a lighter after dinner digestif.

I have also tried Lucien Gaudin with Cocchi Americano and Dolin Blanc (white sweet vermouth), both of which are good, but pale in comparison to the balance and harmony created by the original recipe, but are still good in their own right. Another option is to use genever in place of gin, to give it a flavor more reminiscent of the Old Pal.

3 Responses to “Lucien Gaudin”

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