Betsy Ross Cocktail Recipe

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Betsy Ross 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 Betsy Ross cocktail is named after the woman who is widely believed to have sewn the first American flag. This classic cocktail dates back to the early 1900s and is often enjoyed during patriotic celebrations such as the Fourth of July. It is a favorite among those who appreciate a smooth, rich, and slightly sweet cocktail.

How Betsy Ross Tastes?

The Betsy Ross cocktail has a rich, velvety texture with a hint of sweetness from the port wine. The brandy adds warmth and depth, while the orange liqueur brings a touch of citrus brightness. The nutmeg garnish enhances the overall flavor with a subtle spiciness.

Interesting facts about Betsy Ross

  • The cocktail is named after Betsy Ross, who is credited with sewing the first American flag.
  • It is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early 1900s.
  • The Betsy Ross cocktail is often enjoyed during patriotic celebrations such as the Fourth of July.



Brandy provides the strong backbone of the Betsy Ross cocktail, giving it a depth of flavor with its aged, fruity notes. If you skimp on the brandy, you might find the cocktail lacking character. Too much and it could overpower the other flavors.

Emma Rose

Ruby Port

Ruby port adds a sweet sophistication, rounding out the cocktail with berry-like qualities. Without it, the cocktail would miss its signature port wine twist, and using less might not bring out enough sweetness to balance the brandy.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

A touch of orange liqueur brings a citrus zing, tying all the flavors together with a subtle, sweet complexity. Forget to include it and the drink could be a tad one-dimensional; too much and you'd overwhelm the delicate balance.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Just a dash of Angostura bitters goes a long way, offering a herbal and slightly bitter edge to offset the sweetness. Leaving it out would result in a flatter drink, while overdoing it can introduce too much bitterness.

Emma Rose


The pinch of nutmeg garnish is the spicy icing on the cake—it introduces a wintry, aromatic top note that makes the cocktail truly festive. No nutmeg, and you miss that special final touch; too much and you risk turning your cocktail into a pumpkin pie impersonator.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Betsy Ross Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the brandy, ruby port, orange liqueur, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg on top.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Use freshly grated nutmeg for the best flavor.
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting it too much.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Platter

A selection of aged cheeses such as Gouda, Cheddar, or Manchego pairs wonderfully, contrasting the sweetness with savory notes.

Chocolate Desserts

Rich chocolate desserts like chocolate mousse or dark chocolate truffles complement the deep fruitiness from the port and the warmth from the brandy.

Spiced Nuts

Spicy and sweet nuts like cinnamon almonds or candied walnuts offer a crunchy counterpoint that echoes the nutmeg garnish.

Meaty Appetizers

Try it with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus or mini lamb meatballs—anything that can stand up to the cocktail's bold flavors.

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What you could change in Betsy Ross

  • Brandy: You can substitute with Cognac or Armagnac.
  • Ruby Port: A good substitute could be Tawny Port.
  • Orange Liqueur: Triple Sec or Grand Marnier can be used instead.

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And of course - twists🍹

Betsy's Summer Night

Replace ruby port with white port for a lighter, more refreshing take. Use lemon twist instead of nutmeg for a zesty garnish, perfect for warmer weather.

Ingredients: Brand: 1.5 oz, White Port: 0.75 oz, Orange Liqueur: 0.5 oz, Angostura Bitters: 1 dash, Lemon Twist.

Spiced Betsy

Add a small slice of fresh ginger during the stirring process to infuse the cocktail with a spicy kick. It highlights the brandy's warmth and complements the nutmeg fantastically.

Ingredients: Brand: 1.5 oz, Ruby Port: 0.75 oz, Orange Liqueur: 0.5 oz, Angostura Bitters: 1 dash, Nutmeg: 1 pinch, Fresh Ginger Slice.

Betsy's Dark Secret

Swap out half of the brandy for dark rum, offering a richer, more molasses-like complexity. A dark rum will change the drink's profile with sweet, woody, and slightly smoky undertones.

Ingredients: Brand: 0.75 oz, Dark Rum: 0.75 oz, Ruby Port: 0.75 oz, Orange Liqueur: 0.5 oz, Angostura Bitters: 1 dash, Nutmeg: 1 pinch.

In case you forgot basics how to make Betsy Ross

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

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 Betsy Ross

What is the origin of the ingredients used in a Betsy Ross cocktail?

Most of the ingredients used in the Betsy Ross cocktail have European origins. Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine, mainly in France. Ruby Port is a sweet, fortified wine from Portugal. Orange Liqueur is made from distilled spirits that have been flavored with the peel of bitter oranges and sugar, originating from the Caribbean. Angostura Bitters was originally developed as a tonic by a German surgeon general in the Venezuelan town of Angostura.

Is the Betsy Ross cocktail suitable for vegans?

Yes, the Betsy Ross cocktail is suitable for vegans. It doesn't contain any animal-derived ingredients. Always ensure to check the brand of each ingredient if you are concerned about potential cross-contamination or unknown additives.

What is the best time to indulge in a Betsy Ross cocktail?

As a fairly robust and warming cocktail, the Betsy Ross cocktail would be a perfect drink for late evening sipping or nightcaps. Of course, it can be enjoyed at any time as per personal preference.

Does the Betsy Ross cocktail pair well with certain foods?

Yes, the Betsy Ross cocktail with its rich and sweet flavors pairs well with desserts, particularly those featuring chocolate, nuts, or fruits. It can also complement a cheese plate.

Is it advisable to tweak the portions of ingredients while making a Betsy Ross cocktail at home?

Cocktail recipes are flexible and can be adjusted according to individual taste. If you prefer a stronger citrus flavor, you may increase the amount of Orange Liqueur, or if you want a sweeter cocktail, adding more Ruby Port could work for you.

Can I prepare a Betsy Ross Cocktail without alcohol?

While traditional Betsy Ross cocktails are alcoholic, you can create a non-alcoholic version substituting the alcoholic ingredients with non-alcoholic ones. For example, grape juice or cranberry juice could substitute for the brandy and Port, and a splash of orange juice could replace the Orange Liqueur.

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