Aug 23, 2014 - Sports & Leisure    Comments Off on The Virginia Cocktail

The Virginia Cocktail

This is a cocktail that I created while I was in graduate school. I named it “The Virginia Cocktail” (or a “Virginian” for short), because I created it while living at the University of Virginia. Basically, it’s an old-fashioned martini (some early recipes for the martini specified orange bitters) with a tomolive as the garnish. A tomolive is a small, pickled green tomato, not much larger than a large olive.

Although I recommend stirring the drink and serving it straight up, when I first used to enjoy this drink, while living at 4 East Range in the “Academical Village,” I used to drink it on the rocks for practical reasons. Those venerable rooms at UVa don’t even provide a toilet, much less a kitchen or wet bar, so I had only a compact, dorm-sized fridge to provide the limited amount of ice that I had available for making drinks.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 8 parts gin
  • 1 part French vermouth
  • a dash of orange bitters
  • one tomolive

Mixed (preferred):

In a mixing glass half filed with cracked ice, add a dash of orange bitters. Then add the vermouth and gin. Stir until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the tomolive and serve.


Fill a chilled cocktail glass with ice and vermouth. In a shaker filed with cracked ice, add the dash of orange bitters and the gin. Shake until cold. Dump the ice and vermouth from the glass, and strain the shaker into the glass. Add the tomolive and serve.

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