Head to the famous (or infamous) Army – Navy game and you might see among the alums an Army and Navy cocktail being enjoyed! This simple classic cocktail has been at go-to at the game for decades!
The urban myth is that the Army and Navy cocktail was born in the Army & Navy Club in Washington D.C. This exclusive members-only officers’ club, frequented by Navy and Marine Corps officers, became renowned for its selection of cocktails – even the Daiquiri was first served here in the USA!
It popped up in David A. Embury, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks,” but he changed the drink’s original spec to suit his taste. The combination of dry gin and lemon is seen in a load of different cocktails, but the difference with this one is that almond-flavored orgeat syrup is added to balance the tartness of the fresh lemon juice.
It doesn’t have to be any game to order or make this – it’s too good to wait for that! It’s a great simple gin cocktail!
Where to find ingredients for the Army and Navy cocktail and other gin cocktails
Ingredients for the Army and Navy cocktail
Before we delve into the mixing process, let’s gather the essential ingredients needed for the Army and Navy cocktail:
- London Dry Gin: The choice of gin is crucial. Opt for a quality London dry gin that complements the bright citrus note of this cocktail. You can also experiment with a barrel-aged gin for a heartier twist.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Squeeze the juice from fresh lemons to capture the tartness that defines this cocktail.
- Almond Syrup (Orgeat): You can purchase almond-flavored orgeat syrup from a store, or if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own at home using almond extract, sugar, and water.
- Classic Aromatic Bitters (Angostura Bitters): Ensure you have this essential cocktail ingredient on hand for that perfect balance of flavors.
- Lemon Twist: Use a peeler to cut a thin strip of lemon zest for garnish. This will release the aromatic oils, enhancing the scent of the drink.
- Coupe Glasses: Chill the coupe glasses in the freezer for at least 10-15 seconds before serving to ensure a crisp presentation.
What equipment you need to make Army and Navy cocktail
To make the perfect Army and Navy cocktail, you will need a few essential tools and equipment. You’ll be shaking this one, so grab your cocktail shaker!
- Cocktail Shaker: An essential tool for mixing and chilling the ingredients to perfection.
- Jigger: Precise measurements are crucial in making any cocktail, and a jigger ensures you achieve the right balance of flavors.
- Citrus Juicer: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a key ingredient in the Army and Navy cocktail, so you will need a citrus juicer to extract the juice from the lemons. A handheld juicer is the most practical and easy-to-use option, but if you have a larger quantity of lemons to juice, an electric juicer may be a better choice.
- Cocktail Strainer: After shaking the cocktail, you will need to strain it into a glass to remove any ice or pulp. A cocktail strainer is a small, perforated metal device that fits over the top of the shaker and catches any solids as the liquid passes through. Look for a strainer that fits snugly over the shaker and has a spring to help filter out any solids.
- Glassware: The Army and Navy cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, like a martini glass or coupe glass. If you don’t have a martini glass, any wide-mouthed glass will do, as long as it can hold at least 6 ounces of liquid.
Having these tools and equipment on hand will make it easy to mix up a delicious Army and Navy cocktail anytime you want.
Now that we have all the ingredients ready, let’s proceed with the cocktail-making process. The following steps will guide you through crafting the Army and Navy cocktail to perfection:
- Chill the Glass: Begin by placing your coupe glasses in the freezer for 10-15 seconds. This ensures that your cocktail is served at the ideal temperature.
- Measure the Ingredients: Using a jigger or a measuring cup, measure out the gin, fresh lemon juice, and almond syrup (orgeat) and add to the shaker.
- Add Ice to the Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes. The use of ice is essential for proper dilution and chilling of the ingredients.
- Add a Dash of Aromatic Bitters: A classic aromatic bitters, such as Angostura Bitters, will add depth and complexity to the cocktail. Add a dash to the shaker.
- Shake Vigorously: Seal the shaker and shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. The goal is to thoroughly chill the ingredients and achieve proper dilution.
- Double Strain: To ensure a silky-smooth texture and remove any ice shards or pulp, double strain the cocktail. Place a tea strainer over your coupe glass and strain the mixture as you pour it into the glass.
- Garnish with a Lemon Twist: Take the lemon twist you prepared earlier and gently twist it over the top of the cocktail. This releases the oils from the lemon zest, adding a delightful aroma to the drink. You can also run the twist along the rim of the glass for an extra touch of citrus.
Variations on the Army and Navy cocktail
Certainly! The Army and Navy cocktail is a classic cocktail with a unique flavor profile, but there’s always room for creative variations to suit different tastes. Here are a few variations on the Army and Navy cocktail:
- Raspberry Army and Navy: This variation adds a delightful raspberry twist to the classic Army and Navy cocktail, replacing the orgeat syrup with raspberry syrup for a fruity and slightly tart flavor.
- Coconut Navy Cocktail: For a tropical twist, infuse your gin with coconut and combine it with the traditional Army and Navy cocktail ingredients. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes for added texture and flavor.
- Navy Sour: This variation amps up the gin with navy strength and adds a classic sour element with simple syrup, resulting in a bolder and slightly sweeter version of the cocktail.
- Spiced Navy: Add warmth and spice to your cocktail with a spiced syrup infused with cinnamon and cloves. The navy strength gin balances the flavors beautifully.
Remember that these variations can be adjusted to suit your preferences, and experimenting with different ingredients and ratios can lead to even more exciting Army and Navy cocktail creations. Enjoy your cocktail journey!
Why Lush Life loves it
As you lift the Army and Navy cocktail to your lips, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into this classic libation. The bright citrus notes of fresh lemon juice harmonize with the almond sweetness of the orgeat syrup, all brought to life by the complex flavors of dry gin and aromatic bitters. The Navy Club would be proud of your rendition of this timeless drink.
Here are a few more classic cocktails to make at home
Here is the Army and Navy cocktail recipe!
Army and Navy
- 2 ounces London Dry gin
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce orgeat
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
- Add all the ingredients to a shaker
- Add ice
- Shake, shake, shake
- Strain into a cocktail glass
- Garnish with a lemon twist
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