Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Poet’s Dream

Poet's Dream


1.5oz Gin

.75oz Dry Vermouth

.5oz Benedictine

2 dash Orange Bitters

Lemon Twist


Add the gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine and orange bitters to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon twist.


Botanicals, honey and citrus nose. Poet’s Dream plays out a bit like a martini variation with that dry martini flavor sweetened by Benedictine. The Benedictine adds a little herbal and honey flavor and gives Poet’s Dream more body than a typical Martini. Hint of bitter at the finish.

Try Urban Moonshine Orange Bitters in this one. The Dandelion flavor, present in all Urban Moonshine products, works really well in Poet’s Dream

Poet's Dream 2


This one comes from the Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book (1935). The original recipe called for equal parts gin, dry vermouth and Benedictine and no bitters. Sounds almost like a “white” Bijou. Unfortunately, with equal parts, Poet’s Dream is a bit to sweet for my taste. Plus bitters (almost) always make everything better.

I have actually tried Poet’s Dream a number of times and only recently started to like it. Now I really enjoy this classic, quite a bit actually.

My main issue has been that most recipes/bartenders make it too much like a Martini, with almost no Benedictine. Then I stumbled on the original recipe and found it to be far to sweet. The ratios I present above make for a great balance between the two extremes, crafting something less sweet than the original, but not tasting like a Martini with “Benedictine Bitters.”


Dial back the Benedictine more to make for something closer to a martini. The version I present below has a little more Benedictine than some modern recipes, in order to keep it at least somewhat reminiscent of the original. Try:

  • 2oz Gin
  • 1oz Dry Vermouth
  • .5oz Benedictine
  • 2 dash Orange Bitters
  • Lemon Twist

2 Responses to “Poet’s Dream”

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