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Gibson, Swank Cocktail #37

🏠 » Cocktails » Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

Gibson cocktail
Gibson cocktail

The Gibson is cocktail number 37 on the Swank Cocktail Guide.

Gibson cocktail history

According to Edward W. Townsend in an 1896 San Francisco Examiner newspaper article, William Curtis Gibson invented the Gibson cocktail.

…hence I drink and talk about the Gibson cocktail. It is the invention of my friend, Mr. William Curtis Gibson, the managing editor of “Puck.” As we observe to be the case in all epoch-making inventions, its greatness lies in its simplicity. It is composed solely of one part and one part vermouth.”

"The Gibson Cocktail," newspaper article, The San Francisco Examinier (San Francisco, California), 26 Jan 1896, p. 6, col. 4.
Edward W. Townsend, “The Gibson Cocktail,” newspaper article, The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California), 26 Jan 1896, p. 6, col. 4. Note: The sub-heading states “By the Author of Chimmie Fadden. Edward W. Townsend authored the Chimmie Fadden series.

The Gibson cocktail recipe was first published in 1908 in Hon. William T. (Cocktail) Boothby’s The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them (San Francisco, 1908) on page 25.

No. 46, Gibson Cocktail
A La Martin Raggett
Into a small mixing-glass place some cracked ice, half a jigger of French vermouth and half a jigger of dry English gin; stir thoroughly until cold, and strain into a cocktail glass and serve.
Note–No bitters should ever be used in making this drink, but an olive is sometimes added.

As with many cocktails, there appears to be a dispute as to the originator of the Gibson cocktail. The Wikipedia page for the Gibson cocktail states it was created/inspired by Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl, at the  Players Club in New York City.

Additionally, a 2009 San Francisco Gate article attributes the inventor of the Gibson cocktail to Walter D.K. Gibson, Vice President of the Oceanic Steamship Co. Edward W. Townsend and Walter D.K. Gibson both appear to have been members of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

Gibson cocktail recipe

Gibson cocktail recipe
Gibson cocktail recipe

4 jiggers Dry Gin, 1 jigger Dry Vermouth. Stir with ice and strain. Serve with pickled onion.

Ingredients used:

  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • Dolin Vermouth
  • Cocktail onion

Gibson cocktail review

Our ratings (1-5 🍸)

Greg: 🍸🍸🍸🍸
Kim: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

Essentially a gin martini with an olive. Four🍸s instead of five 🍸s for the heavy hand on the vermouth.

Next up… Cocktail # 38, Gimlet cocktail

Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

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