Ampersand Cocktail Recipe

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Ampersand Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Ampersand cocktail is a classic concoction that dates back to the early 20th century. It's believed to have been named after the '&' symbol, which represents the combination of ingredients that come together to create a harmonious blend.

  • The cocktail is a favorite among connoisseurs of classic drinks.
  • It's often enjoyed by those who appreciate the depth and complexity of its ingredients.
  • The Ampersand is a testament to the art of cocktail making, where balance is key.

How Ampersand Tastes?

The Ampersand cocktail offers a rich and velvety taste, with the warmth of cognac, the botanical notes of Old Tom gin, and the sweet, herbal complexity of sweet vermouth. The orange bitters add a subtle citrusy zing, creating a well-rounded and sophisticated flavor profile.

Interesting facts about Ampersand

  • The Ampersand is sometimes considered a variation of the Martini due to its gin and vermouth base.
  • It's a stirred cocktail, which ensures a silky texture without diluting the flavors too much.
  • The drink is often served in a chilled cocktail glass to maintain its optimal temperature and taste.


A few good options for Ampersand are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


At 1 oz, the cognac provides a rich, warm backbone to the Ampersand cocktail. Its aged, grape-based flavor profile adds depth and is essential for a rounded taste. Without cognac, you'd miss out on the soul of the drink. However, if you're feeling adventurous, you could swap it with Armagnac for a slightly different twist on the classic.

Mary Mitkina

Old Tom Gin

The Old Tom gin, also at 1 oz, imparts a slightly sweetened, botanical zing. It's more mellow than a London Dry gin, which could be used instead, but expect a sharper, more juniper-forward profile. The Old Tom balances our ensemble, acting as a perfect middle ground.

Emma Rose

Sweet Vermouth

This sweet, herb-infused wine contributes to the silky mouthfeel of the Ampersand. At 1 oz, it sweetens the deal without overpowering—it's the diplomatic mediator between the strong cognac and the playful gin. A dry vermouth could be used for a drier version, but that would certainly change the smooth, sweet symphony we have here.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

A mere 2 dashes of orange bitters is like adding a dash of pixie dust – it's magical. It brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the mix, offering a citrusy pop to cut through the richer spirits. Omitting it wouldn't ruin your cocktail, but why skip the sparkle? If orange isn't your thing, Angostura bitters could offer a more spiced complexity.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Ampersand Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the cognac, Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when stirring the cocktail to ensure it chills without over-diluting.
  • Chilling the cocktail glass before serving helps maintain the cocktail's temperature.
  • For a twist, express an orange peel over the glass to add an extra layer of citrus aroma.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Platter

Ampersand cocktail pairs beautifully with a cheese platter, especially one that includes aged cheddars, creamy bries, or nutty goudas, as the rich flavors complement the depth of the cognac and the botanicals of the gin.


An assortment of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and chorizo offers savory and salty contrasts that stand up nicely to the Ampersand's complexity.

Chocolate Desserts

The sweetness of the chocolate desserts can be a delightful counterbalance to the herbal and citrus hints in the cocktail. Dark chocolate truffles or a rich chocolate torte would be particularly fitting.

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What you could change in Ampersand

  • If Old Tom gin is unavailable, a London Dry gin can be used, though the flavor will be slightly less sweet.
  • In place of sweet vermouth, a different aromatized wine like Dubonnet can provide a similar herbal sweetness.

Explore all drinks starting with A here

And of course - twists🍹

Bourbon Ampersand

Switch up the cognac for bourbon, introducing a touch of American spirit. Keep everything else the same, and you'll have a drink with a little more smoke, a touch of vanilla, and a distinctly American twist.

Ampersand Sour

Add 0.75 oz of fresh lemon juice and 0.5 oz of simple syrup to the original recipe. This will create a brighter, tangier cocktail that's sure to pucker your lips and make you smile.

Fruity Ampersand

Muddle some fresh seasonal fruit (like berries or peach) in your mixing glass before adding the other ingredients. This will result in a fruity and refreshing twist, perfect for summer sipping on your front porch.

In case you forgot basics how to make Ampersand

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Ampersand

What type of glass is best suited for serving an Ampersand cocktail?

An Ampersand cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, also known as a martini glass, to maintain its temperature and enhance its elegant presentation.

Can I make an Ampersand cocktail in advance?

Pre-mixing the cognac, gin, and vermouth is possible, but it is recommended to add the orange bitters and stir with ice right before serving to maintain the integrity of the flavors.

Is it possible to make a non-alcoholic version of the Ampersand?

While the Ampersand is an inherently alcoholic drink, non-alcoholic spirits are available that mimic the flavors of cognac and gin for a mocktail variation, although the profile will differ from the original.

What does the term 'dashes' refer to in the recipe?

In cocktail recipes, 'dashes' refer to a small, quick pour of a liquid ingredient, typically from a dasher bottle, which is commonly used for bitters.

Why do I need to stir the Ampersand cocktail instead of shaking it?

Stirring is the preferred method for cocktails that are solely composed of spirits, like the Ampersand, as it chills and dilutes the drink without introducing air bubbles or cloudiness that shaking would cause.

How do I store sweet vermouth after opening?

Sweet vermouth should be stored in the refrigerator after opening to preserve its flavor and prevent spoilage. It typically remains fresh for about a month.

What is the difference between Old Tom Gin and London Dry Gin?

Old Tom Gin has a slightly sweeter profile and a less pronounced juniper flavor compared to the more common London Dry Gin, which is known for its crisp, clean, and juniper-forward taste.

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