Ankle Breaker Cocktail Recipe

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Ankle Breaker 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 7, 2024


The Ankle Breaker cocktail is a classic drink that originated in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. It was created by a bartender named Charlie, who worked at a speakeasy in New York City. The cocktail was named after its ability to make patrons feel like they were walking on air, often leading to some unsteady footing.

  • The Ankle Breaker was popular among flappers and gangsters alike
  • It was often served at secret underground parties during Prohibition
  • The cocktail has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to the craft cocktail movement

How Ankle Breaker Tastes?

The Ankle Breaker is a complex and well-balanced cocktail, featuring a combination of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. It has a strong, yet smooth, alcohol kick with a hint of citrus and herbal notes.

Interesting facts about Ankle Breaker

  • The Ankle Breaker was rumored to be a favorite drink of Al Capone
  • The original recipe called for bathtub gin, but modern versions use high-quality gin
  • The cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Flapper's Delight'


A few good options for Ankle Breaker are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Gin: (2oz) The backbone of the drink, gin brings a mix of botanical flavors that are essential for the cocktail's character. Too much and it'll overpower the drink; too little and it won't stand up to the other ingredients.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice: (1oz) Adds a zesty, fresh tartness and a citrusy punch. It balances the sweetness of the syrup and the strong flavors of the gin and absinthe.

Emma Rose

Triple Sec: (0.5oz) Adds a touch of orange-flavored sweetness and complexity. Necessary for a rounded flavor profile but use it sparingly to avoid a too sweet drink.

Mary Mitkina

Absinthe: (0.25oz) Introduces an aniseed flavor that provides depth. A small amount goes a long way; too much can dominate due to its strong flavor.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup: (0.5oz) Offers a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the sharpness of the lemon and the bitterness of the bitters. It's all about balance; too little and the cocktail might be too tart.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters: (2 dashes) Imparts complexity and a subtle spiced backdrop. It's like a dash of magic, too few and the drink falls flat; too many and it may become too bitter.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist: (1) Garnish that adds an aromatic lemon zest to the top notes. Don't skip it; the oil from the twist adds to the overall experience.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Ankle Breaker Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add gin, lemon juice, triple sec, absinthe, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled coupe glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a brighter flavor
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer
  • Use a high-quality gin for a smoother taste

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Platter: A variety of cheeses, particularly goat cheese or aged cheddar, can complement the botanical notes of gin and the zesty lemon.

Seafood: Light seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or ceviche can enhance the freshness of the lemon and play nicely with the complexity of the cocktail.

Fried Appetizers: Fried calamari or tempura vegetables provide a crispy contrast to the sharp and herbaceous notes of the cocktail.

Desserts: Lemon tart or vanilla-based desserts will harmonize with the citrus and sweet notes in the Ankle Breaker.

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What you could change in Ankle Breaker

  • Vodka can be used instead of gin for a different flavor profile
  • Lime juice can replace lemon juice if desired
  • If you don't have triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier can be used

Explore all drinks starting with A here

And of course - twists🍹

Elderflower Ankle Breaker

  • Substitute triple sec with 0.5oz of elderflower liqueur for a floral twist.
  • Recipe remains the same with the substitution.
  • The floral notes will add a light, fragrant sweetness, creating a more aromatic experience.

Spicy Ankle Breaker

  • Add a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Shake as usual.
  • The jalapeño will infuse a spicy kick that compliments the citrus and botanical notes, adding another layer of complexity.

Berry Ankle Breaker

  • Muddle a few fresh raspberries in the shaker before adding the ingredients.
  • Follow the original recipe afterward.
  • The raspberries will impart a fruity and slightly tart flavor, changing the drink's profile to something sweeter and more playful.

In case you forgot basics how to make Ankle Breaker

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

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

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Ankle Breaker

What type of glass is best to serve the Ankle Breaker cocktail in?

The Ankle Breaker cocktail is typically served in a coupe glass.

What is the ideal temperature to serve the Ankle Breaker cocktail at?

As a chilled cocktail, it's typically served between 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I pre-make the Ankle Breaker cocktail and serve later?

It's best made fresh to maintain the quality of the ingredients. However, if necessary, it can be premixed without ice and refrigerated. Add ice and shake well before serving.

What is the alcohol content of the Ankle Breaker cocktail?

The alcohol content will vary depending on the types of liquors used. However, typically, this cocktail has a moderate-high alcohol content.

What food pairs well with the Ankle Breaker cocktail?

Given the cocktail's strong flavors, it pairs well with spicy appetizers or seafood dishes.

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