Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Income Tax Cocktail

Income Tax Cocktail


1.5oz Gin

.75oz Dry Vermouth

.75oz Sweet Vermouth

.5oz Orange Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Orange Twist


Add the gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, orange juice and bitters to a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously, until the outside of the shaker begins to frost. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.


Botanical citrus nose. This one looks like it will be really light and fruity, but tastes much different than it appears. Essentially, a 50/50 perfect martini (equal parts gin and vermouth, with the vermouth component split between sweet and dry vermouth) with some orange juice and a heavier bitter component thanks to the angostura. Definitely a great drink with a bitter finish. Just don’t let it’s innocuous look fool you.

Income Tax Cocktail 2


Essentially the Income Tax Cocktail is nearly identical to a cocktail known as the Bronx, except that Angostura Bitters is added. Details beyond this, such as a definitive origin for the cocktail, first published date (some claim Savoy, others Mr. Boston), or how the name came about, are unknown.

Some have surmised that since taxes can sometimes be a bitter experience, the addition of bitters to the Bronx are what gave the Income Tax Cocktail it’s name. Plausable but not definitively  known.

Another idea based on my perception of the drink is that looking at the Income Tax Cocktail, you get the impression it’s going to be a really light, easy going, maybe a bit fruity cocktail, but in the end it is dryier and more bitter than expected, also paralleling the often seemingly easy start to taxes, only to get bogged down in details and frustration. Again, just the ramblings of me, but hey anything is possible.

Regardless, enjoy one tonight to celebrate the end of tax season.

6 Responses to “Income Tax Cocktail”

  1. vancealm

    Today being tax day is the perfect time for this great cocktail. Your ideas of how the Income Tax got its name are pretty funny and pretty plausible.


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