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Liquid Lux et Veritas
What’s in a Yale cocktail?

Showing school spirit and imbibing something alcoholic have been known to go together. So you may be interested to know that Yale, like several other Ivies, has a cocktail named after it. Originally a mix of gin, bitters, and seltzer, the Yale cocktail evolved into a violet-colored drink in the 1890s with the addition of the French cordial Crème Yvette.

©Mark Zurolo '01MFA

But the liqueur later became impossible to buy in the United States, so the cocktail was made with maraschino liqueur. Then, in the 1950s, the addition of blue food coloring to curaçao meant Yale could finally have a properly colored drink.

The problem? The combination of gin, vermouth, bitters, and blue curaçao is, well, a mediocre drink. But Crème Yvette is once again widely available, so an alumna suggested this recipe, a modified version of one from 1906. (The one shown here was mixed for us at Mory’s.) Don’t be put off by the fact that the color is—dare we say it—rather crimson.  the end




The (Nouveau) Yale Cocktail

2 oz. dry gin
¾ oz. Crème Yvette
¼ oz. Luxardo
¼ oz. dry vermouth
Dash of orange bitters

In glass half filled with ice, stir all ingredients for 20 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a sliver of lemon peel.


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