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This cocktail gets its name from the three main ingredients, and their relationship to bijoux, or jewels or gems. The clear gin is like a diamond, the red vermouth is like a ruby, and the green from the Chartreuse is the emerald. The original recipe called for those ingredients to be used in three equal parts but cocktail expert and bartender Dale DeGroff, who resurrected the cocktail, refashioned the quantities. I actually prefect a touch more red vermouth than he does so I up that to 1 ounce, but you can leave it as is.

Pedants may quibble that the cocktail should actually be called the Bijoux, plural, but you’ll have to take that up with Harry Johnson, who published it in his book the New and Improved Cocktail Manual in 1900. But I thank him for doing such a good job bringing three of my favorite ingredients together in one glass.

Bijou Cocktail

The revised version of the Bijou uses 3/4 ounce of sweet red vermouth. I prefer it with 1 ounce but you can use either. If you have absinthe on hand, you can use that to "wash" the glass before adding the mixture. Otherwise you can use orange bitters, homemade or store-bought.
Servings 1 cocktail
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 to 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters, or a bit of absinthe
  • lemon twist, for garnish
  • Add the gin, Chartreuse, and vermouth to a cocktail mixing glass. If using orange bitters, add those as well. Fill two-thirds with ice and stir briskly until well-chilled, about 15 seconds.
  • If using absinthe, add a small amount of absinthe to a chilled coupe glass, then shake out the excess. Pour the drink into a glass and garnish with lemon twist.

12 comments

    • Janet Sobesky

    I have a small bottle of the Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse (in the wooden bottle case) that I bought last year in Paris. Can I use this interchangeably with the recipes like above and the other ones in your book? I got the impression from the your Instagram Video yesterday that it was much stronger than normal Chartreuse.

    • janet sobesky

    Thanks for answering my question today. I’m going to try to dilute with some water. I forgot to tell you that I bought the Elixir at one of my favorite wine bars in Paris–Le Baron Rouge!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s a good thing to bring home from a trip to France because it’s not available elsewhere. And is highly sought by some! ;)

    • Barbara Dimas

    Perfect recipe for April 25 – Italy’s Liberation day with the red vermouth, the “white” gin and the green chartreuse – the tricolore = Italian flag

    • S Allen

    We have visited the monastery at Grand Chartreuse twice. We always keep it on hand and plan to try this

    • Jasmine

    David, I came home from work today looking forward to watching your Instagram live of this but it’s not there! I’m so sad.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That’s unfortunate you couldn’t find it. Others did and were able to join, but you can watch in replay here.

    • Anna

    Ooh it’s delicious! I had to sub Suze for Chartreuse – because the cabinet is what it is right now. The orange bitters completely round it out. Thank you!

    • Susan

    Stan Tucci did a [vodka] martini with James Corden, so you need to hop to it. He’s apparently in London now?

    • Taya

    Do you mean “pedants may quibble”? or pendants? looks delicious in any case

    So sorry. That’s fixed now. -dl

    • Libby H.

    Does yellow vs green chartreuse make a considerable difference? They only had yellow at my local liquor store

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yellow Chartreuse is mellower than green Chartreuse (it has a little honey added and some saffron, and is lower proof) and while it’s delicious and great in certain cocktails, it’d be like using milk chocolate in a recipe that called for dark chocolate; the flavor would be there but it would be much more muted. (If you do get the yellow Chartreuse, there’s a great cocktail in DRINKING FRENCH called The Yellow Cocktail that uses it and it’s one of my favorites in the book.)

A

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