Turf Club Cocktail

Unlike a martini which traditionally leans on dry gin and vermouth, the Turf Club Cocktail is slightly sweet from the addition of maraschino liqueur, an aromatic liqueur distilled from cherries. This recipe from Brooklyn's retro mainstay Gage & Tollner leans on sweet and fresh orange to balance the juniper-forward gin. When the orange slice is expressed and stirred in the mixing glass, it adds a bit of sweet juice and a welcome of bitterness from the rind. Double straining the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve will produce a gorgeous, clarified drink.

Turf Club Cocktail
Photo: Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

While both are historic cocktails that undeniably shaped the way we drink in the United States, the Turf Club Cocktail is the Martini's older (way cooler) cousin. This cocktail from Brooklyn-based restaurant Gage & Tollner uses ingredients inspired by the original cocktail, with a recipe that dates back to the late 1880s. Gage & Tollner's Turf Club cocktail is an ode to the past made with timeless ingredients like dry gin, maraschino liqueur and just a dash of absinthe. While the Turf Club Cocktail hasn't seen the same kind of love in bars and restaurants as the drier Martini, which was invented about 30 years after the Turf Club Cocktail, it seems to be making a comeback on bar menus around the country. It's clear that Gage & Tollner, the iconic restaurant which first opened its doors in 1879, just a few years before the Turf Club Cocktail's invention, is reigniting excitement around the 140 year old recipe.

Though it's just a quarter teaspoon, the bit of Pernod Absinthe in this cocktail brings a luscious, earthy, green flavor; it's made from a bouquet of herbs including anise and wormwood. Enjoy this delicious cocktail at home or in the dining room at Gage & Tollner, which has gotten a sumptuous update since first opening over 140 years ago.


  • 5 tablespoons (2 ½ ounces) Junipero Gin

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Dolin Dry Vermouth

  • ½ teaspoon maraschino liqueur (such as Luxardo)

  • ¼ teaspoon Pernod Absinthe

  • 1 round orange slice

  • Lemon twist, for garnish


  1. Combine gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur and Pernod Absinthe in a mixing glass. Express the orange slice into the mixing glass. Add expressed orange slice and ice to the mixing glass. Stir until well chilled. Double strain about 2 1/2 ounces of the mixture into a chilled, straight-sided martini glass. Strain remaining mixture into a sidecar decanter; discard orange slice. Garnish cocktail with a lemon twist. Keep the sidecar chilled in an ice filled glass.

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