The Salome is cocktail number 65 on the Swank Cocktail Guide.
Salome cocktail history
The Biblical Salome
While not specifically named, it is believed that it was Salome, the daughter Herodias and step-daughter of Herod Antipas, who asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s[a] head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.Mark 6:21–28, English Standard Version
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, 7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.Matthew 14:6–11, English Standard Version:
The Biblical story of Salome is a tale that has lived on through centuries, the subject of paintings, sculpture, literature, operas, theatre… and cocktails.
Oscar Wilde’s 1891 Salome
In the latter part of 1891, Oscar Wilde, while residing in France, wrote a one-act play, Salome. At the time, plays presented in Britain required state approval and Lord Chamberlain refused to license the work, since it depicted biblical characters. The play finally made it to the stage in 1896, but Wilde did not see the production, as he was in prison at the time.
Oscar Wilde at the age of 45 in Paris on 30 November 1900.
1909 – A Salome cocktail
In 1909, Jean B. Martin took credit for creating the Salome cocktail:
“I am now drinking Salome cocktails and trying to get a new line of thought. As I concocted the drink, I am rather proud of it. Here is the way it is made: One-third Dubonnet, one-third French vermouth and one-third orange gin; no bitters whatever, for there is enough if that in the first ingredient. Stir up, but do not shake.” Mr. Martin affixed his signature to the recipe.”
In 1913, Jacque Straub included a different version of the Salome cocktail in his Straub’s Manual of Mixed Drinks on page 41. Straub’s version included gin, both sweet and dry vermouth, orange bitters and celery leaves.
Salome cocktail recipe
1/3 Dry Gin, 1/3 Dry Vermouth, 1/3 Dubonnet. Stir well with cracked ice and strain into glass.
- Hendrick’s Gin
- Dolin Dry Vermouth
Salome cocktail review
Our ratings (1-5 🍸)
The Salome cocktail is just as intriguing as the history of Salome.
Next up… Cocktail # 66, Screwdriver