Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

The clever cocktail, seemingly another riff on the Negroni (like The Tunnel), is named after French fencing champion Lucien Gaudin, who won gold and silver medals in the Olympics during the 1920s. Other than that, I’ve never found any other information about it; who came up with it or why the cocktail is associated with a French fencer.

Perhaps because it comes with a bit of sting, courtesy of a shot of red bitters? Or maybe because it’s a champion in the flavor category?

Either way, what differentiates this from a Negroni is the addition of dry vermouth and a dose of orange liqueur, which rounds things out nicely. When stirred together and poured into a cocktail coupe, its rosy red color makes it one of the prettiest cocktails I’ve sipped in a while. Touché.

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail
Print Recipe
1 cocktail
You can use any red bitter aperitif (aperitivo) such as Campari, Forthave Spirits aperitivo, Dolin bitters, St. George Bruto Americano, or Cappelletti.
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce red bitter aperitivo (see headnote)
1/2 ounce orange liqueur, such as Cointreau, Pierre Ferrand Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1. Add the gin, red bitters, orange liqueur, and vermouth to a cocktail mixing glass. Fill two-thirds with ice.
2. Stir until well-chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe.

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

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  • Craig
    May 23, 2020 2:26am

    Exceptionally fine! Thank you. Reply

  • Georgeann Brown
    May 23, 2020 4:05am

    I will b so sad if you stop your wonderful and informative IG videos. Each day I learn so much about the subject and also what a warm human you seem to be. Of course it is much work to do, so maybe at least once a week……. Reply

  • Sam Collins
    May 23, 2020 4:22am

    How could it possibly come out that red after adding dry v and orange liq?
    Something is amiss somewhere. Reply

    • May 23, 2020 9:31am
      David Lebovitz

      You can see me make the cocktail “live” in my Instagram stories. Not sure what you mean by something ‘amiss’ (?) but the cocktail I made in my kitchen is a slightly softer color because I used Dolin bitters (you can see me open the bottle in the video) and here I used Campari, which is brighter red. Also I shot the photo here outside in bright sunlight, whereas in my kitchen the light is darker as it was raining and grey outside. Hope that helps!

      (A number of other people on the internet have made this cocktail and the images there are close to the same color, although some were likely shot in professional photo studios.) Reply

  • robert
    May 23, 2020 4:23am

    the cocktail first record is in “cocktails de paris” (published in 1929) by a georges gabriel thenon, a parisian artist who went by the name of “rip.”

    rip credits it to a man by the name of charlie of the cheval pie, and notes the cocktail (or maybe charlie? my french is terrible.) was the recipient of a cup at the professional bartender’s championship of 1929.

    it’s likely as anything it was named for gaudin simply because he was popular and in the papers. or because the cocktail, like gaudin, had won a competition.

    maybe a specious argument; but quite a few cocktails have acquired their names for abstract reasons. (bellini, remember the maine, algonquin, et cetera, all have a similar relationship with their namesake: not much.) Reply

  • Tavio
    May 23, 2020 6:47am

    Enjoyed making this cocktail using Citadelle gin, Bruto Americano, Grand Marnier, and Noilly Prat xtra dry…FYI, the recipe on your blog recommends shaking the cocktail vs. stirring.
    BTW, I have so enjoyed your IGTV since the beginning, unfortunately I missed the one with SJP, before they were archived :( Thank you for introducing us to all the fascinating people in your world. I know all good things must come to an end. But, at least I was able to share these moments with you and your audience. And I have your blog and books to refer to in the future. Thank you, so much. And see you tomorrow. ;) Reply

  • Ken
    May 23, 2020 10:33pm

    New favourite cocktail – at least until you post the next winner. Exceptional. Reply

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