The Fitzgerald cocktail comes courtesy of Dale Degroff. Mr. DeGroff was instrumental in the revival of the American bar scene, starting with his early 90s tenure at the Rainbow Room in New York. A firm proponent of fresh juices, his work helped to usher in the era of legit cocktail bars that scoff at bottled juices and sugary swill.
That said, The Fitzgerald is essentially a gin sour (sans optional egg white) with bitters. Gin, lemon juice and sugar combine to form a nice drink on their own, but bitters can turn a good drink into a great drink. In this case, a couple dashes of Angostura bitters lend depth and roundness to the Fitzgerald.
The Fitzgerald Cocktail
1.5 oz dry gin
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
You can experiment with your gins here per your taste preferences. I like a nice London Dry like Beefeater or Broker’s, but the cocktail also works well with some New American offerings like Bluecoat and Aviation.
The Fitzgerald is a good drink for those new to gin. It’s a well-composed cocktail that lets the gin shine, but thanks to the citrus, sugar and bitters, it’s not so gin-forward as to overwhelm the other flavors. I like to mix it up for company, as it’s easy to make and typically a fan favorite, even for drinkers who claim to be wary of gin.
Photo: 12 Bottle Bar