Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Tuxedo No. 2

Tuxedo No. 2 cocktail
Image: / Tim Nusog

The original Tuxedo cocktail—comprised of gin, sherry, and orange bitters—was likely first created in the late-1800s at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. It was named after Tuxedo Park, a planned residential community in New York’s Hudson Valley, whose namesake resort, the Tuxedo Club, included Waldorf-Astoria owner William Waldorf Astor as a member. Both the drink and community (as well as the formalwear that became synonymous with them) took their name from a native Lenape word, “tucseto” or “tùkwsitu,” associated with the area.

Though a well-liked cocktail within the Martini rubric, the original Tuxedo was succeeded by the Tuxedo No. 2, which arguably surpassed the original in popularity. The revised iteration omitted the original’s sherry, while contributing a touch of maraschino liqueur and an absinthe rinse to add sweetness and aromatics.

Despite its name, the Tuxedo No. 2 actually bears more similarities to the Turf Club, another turn-of-the-century Martini variation that utilized maraschino liqueur, absinthe, and orange bitters. Both cocktails are featured alongside each other in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual, which remains one of the earliest known print references of the Tuxedo No. 2. 

The Tuxedo No. 2 became largely forgotten over the following century. However, at the turn of the millennium, as pre-Prohibition cocktails began to gain prominence in cocktail bars across the country again, renowned institutions like Douglas Room in San Francisco and the now-shuttered Flora Bar in New York City resurrected the drink. 

This particular version was the Tuxedo No. 2 recipe used at Flora Bar. Old Tom gin is the backbone of the classic, but Plymouth gin makes for a more modern variation. Although it isn’t quite as soft as Old Tom, Plymouth strikes a good balance between the sweeter and rounder Old Tom style, and the bracing dryness of a London Dry gin.


  • 1/4 ounce absinthe, to rinse
  • 2 1/4 ounces Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 ounce blanc vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish: orange twist
  • Garnish: brandied cherry


  1. Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with the absinthe and discard any excess.

  2. Add all other ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into the prepared glass.

  4. Garnish with a brandied cherry and an orange twist.

Which Maraschino Liqueur Should You Use?

In addition to the Tuxedo No. 2, maraschino liqueur is a crucial ingredient in many beloved classic cocktails like the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Aviation, and the Last Word. Opt for a high-quality offering—in addition to lending the drink its primary sweetness, the liqueur should also contribute aspects of complex cherries and almonds. Luxardo remains an industry-standard bottling that works well in most cocktails, though other options can add interesting dimensions to a Tuxedo No. 2, like Fratelli Vergnano’s sour cherry notes.

Will Any Vermouth Work in a Tuxedo No. 2?

Sourcing a blanc vermouth is essential for making a proper Tuxedo No. 2. Using a dry vermouth will create a cocktail that skews closer to a Turf Club, while sweet vermouth will make a drink more akin to a Martinez. The interplay of blanc vermouth and not-too-dry gin is key to a proper Tuxedo No. 2.