Commodore Cocktail Recipe

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Commodore 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 Commodore cocktail is a classic whiskey-based drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It was first mentioned in Harry Craddock's famous 1930 cocktail book, 'The Savoy Cocktail Book'. The drink is named after the naval rank of Commodore, which is a nod to its strong and commanding flavor profile. This cocktail is perfect for whiskey lovers and those who appreciate a well-balanced, sophisticated drink.

How Commodore Tastes?

The Commodore cocktail is a rich, smooth, and slightly sweet drink with a hint of sourness. The combination of whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar creates a strong, yet balanced flavor profile. The addition of grenadine adds a touch of sweetness and a beautiful reddish hue to the drink.

Interesting facts about Commodore

  • The Commodore cocktail is named after the naval rank of Commodore, which is a nod to its strong and commanding flavor profile.
  • The drink was first mentioned in Harry Craddock's famous 1930 cocktail book, 'The Savoy Cocktail Book'.
  • The combination of whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar creates a strong, yet balanced flavor profile.



Whiskey is the spirit backbone of this cocktail, providing a deep, complex base. Too much might overwhelm the delicate balance, while too little could make the drink lack body. If you skip it, well, you've missed the boat entirely—it's not a Commodore without it!

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

The zesty lemon juice adds a refreshing tang, balancing the sweetness of the sugar and grenadine. It's a classic sour component—without it, the cocktail would be too sweet and flat.

Alex Green


Sweetness is key here, but moderation is the lock. The half ounce creates harmony without making the cocktail a sugar bomb. Substitute with a rich simple syrup for a silkier texture, but straight sugar keeps it authentic.

Emma Rose


This pomegranate syrup adds a touch of color and a whisper of fruity sweetness. If you decide to walk the plank and leave it out, you'll miss out on the sunset hue and the flavor depth it provides.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

It's the jewel in the crown, the sweet cherry on top! Without it, the drink loses a marquee garnish that adds a visual pop and a nibble of sweetness at the end.

Alex Green

Orange Slice

This citrus disc adds a fragrant garnish and a hint of additional flavor. Not using it wouldn't cause a mutiny, but why miss the chance to add that extra zest to the presentation?

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Commodore Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add 2oz of whiskey, 1oz of lemon juice, 0.5oz of sugar, and 0.5oz of grenadine to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to properly mix the ingredients and chill the drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platter: A selection of cheeses, especially ones with a bit of age like cheddar or gouda, can highlight the warmth and depth of the whiskey.
  • Grilled shrimp: The cocktail's citrus notes can complement seafood, making lemony grilled shrimp a delightful pairing.

Main Courses

  • BBQ pork ribs: The smokiness of the pork alongside the sweet and sour components of the Commodore creates a harmonious balance.
  • Roast chicken: The simplicity of a roast chicken allows the flavors of the cocktail to stand out without overpowering the meal.


  • Chocolate tart: The richness of chocolate pairs well with the whiskey base and the cherry notes of the garnish.
  • Fruit salad: A light and fresh option to cleanse the palate, pairing well with the citrus elements in the drink.

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What you could change in Commodore

  • Whiskey: Can be substituted with bourbon or rye.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice can be used for a different flavor profile.
  • Sugar: Honey or agave syrup can be used as a natural sweetener.
  • Grenadine: Can be replaced with a dash of raspberry syrup or pomegranate juice.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Maple Commodore

Exchange the sugar for maple syrup for a richer, autumnal twist. This variation brings a woodsy note complementing the whiskey and a hint of Canada to your glass.


  • 2oz Whiskey
  • 1oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5oz Maple syrup
  • 0.5oz Grenadine
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Orange slice

Recipe: Use maple syrup in place of sugar and follow the original recipe. Tastes like a walk through falling leaves with a flask of finesse.

Berry Commodore

Introduce a splash of berry liqueur, such as Chambord, to replace the grenadine. This adds a berry complexity and kicks the fruitiness up a notch


  • 2oz Whiskey
  • 1oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5oz Sugar
  • 0.5oz Berry liqueur
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Orange slice

Recipe: Use the berry liqueur in place of grenadine and follow the original recipe. You've just upgraded your ticket to a berry-licious cruise!

Smokey Commodore

For a smokier profile, use a peated Scotch and a dash of smoked bitters. This brings a fireside element to your cocktail.


  • 2oz Peated Scotch
  • 1oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5oz Sugar
  • 0.5oz Grenadine
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Smoked bitters
  • Orange slice

Recipe: Add a dash of smoked bitters with the rest of the ingredients and follow the original recipe. This cocktail's for those who want to sail through a fog of flavor!

In case you forgot basics how to make Commodore

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 Commodore

What is the best time to consume the Commodore cocktail?

Commodore cocktail can be enjoyed at any time but it's particularly suited for sipping in the evening or at cocktail parties.

Does the Commodore have a strong alcohol taste?

Though the cocktail contains Whiskey, it is balanced out with the lemon juice, sugar, and grenadine. So, the alcohol taste won't be too overpowering.

What kind of maraschino cherries are best for the Commodore cocktail?

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are generally considered the best quality for cocktails.

What other cocktail can I make if I like the Commodore?

If you enjoy the Commodore, you might also like other whiskey-based cocktails such as the Old Fashioned or the Whiskey Sour.

What kind of whiskey is preferred for making a Commodore cocktail?

A rich, full-bodied whiskey works best in a Commodore cocktail, such as a high-quality bourbon.

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