From its inception in the early 20th century to its growing popularity today, the Casino cocktail is a classic combination of style and simplicity. Perhaps, that’s why it stands apart.
February 01, 2024
The understated, yet elegant gin-based Casino cocktail might not be as sought-after as a Dirty Martini, or as boisterous as a Negroni, but it carries a unique charm that’s making quiet waves among mixologists.
The Casino first appeared in 1917 in Recipes for Mixed Drinks, written by renowned bartender Hugo Ensslin. At the time, Ensslin was head bartender at New York City’s Hotel Wallick on the well-known 43rd Street. The recipe rose to fame again after finding a mention in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book, published in 1930.
Pour 45 ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin into a shaker, forming a strong foundation for the drink. Add 15 ml of maraschino liqueur, a cherry-flavoured spirit, and about 15 ml of fresh lemon juice. A couple of dashes of orange bitters would bring a complex, citrusy depth to this concoction.
Once the ingredients have been added to a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously. This not only chills the drink, but also helps to integrate all the flavours. Once ready, double-strain it into a chilled coupe glass. The traditional garnish is that of a lemon twist and a maraschino cherry, which makes for a great visual as well.
A charcuterie board with mild cheeses, like Brie or Camembert, and some prosciutto would be an ideal choice alongside the drink. For a vegetarian option, you could whip up a bruschetta with ripe tomatoes and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
For those interested in a Casino free of alcohol, a mocktail version can be just as delightful. Replace the gin with a non-alcoholic spirit and the maraschino liqueur with a cherry syrup. This recipe maintains the balance of sweet and sour, offering an inclusive experience for all.