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Boothby Cocktail

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1 drink Easy
4.5 2
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Ingredients (6)

  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • 1 ounce champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 orange twist


William T. “Cocktail Bill” Boothby, a bartender at the historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco, wrote a book of cocktail recipes in the late 19th century. His signature cocktail begins with sweet vermouth, bourbon, and bitters stirred together to make a Manhattan, then a champagne float is added. It’s boozy but elegantly effervescent. This recipe from San Francisco bartender H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir uses equal parts bourbon and sweet vermouth, per Boothby’s original Manhattan formula, and adds an orange twist for garnish.

This recipe was featured as part of our Drinks from San Francisco’s Sleazy Past.


Chill a champagne glass. Combine the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice and stir until the shaker is frosty on the outside. Strain into the chilled glass, top with the champagne or sparkling wine, and garnish with the orange twist.
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