Commonwealth Cocktail Recipe

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Commonwealth Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:25%

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 Commonwealth Cocktail is a classic cocktail that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It's named after the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organization of 54 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire. This cocktail is a favorite among those who appreciate a well-balanced, complex drink. It's a blend of gin, lemon juice, grenadine, and a dash of absinthe, making it a refreshing and slightly tart cocktail with a hint of sweetness.

How Commonwealth Tastes?

The Commonwealth Cocktail has a refreshing, slightly tart taste with a hint of sweetness. The gin provides a strong, juniper-forward base, while the lemon juice adds a citrusy tang. The grenadine gives it a sweet undertone, and the dash of absinthe adds a complex, herbal note.

Interesting facts about Commonwealth

  • The Commonwealth Cocktail is named after the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • It was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • The cocktail is a blend of gin, lemon juice, grenadine, and a dash of absinthe.


A few good options for Commonwealth are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the cornerstone here, laying down the botanical foundation for the cocktail. Using 2 oz keeps the spirit in the forefront without overwhelming. Less gin, and the drink gets overshadowed by the sweetness; more, and you might as well call it a 'gin with a splash of something else'. Don't have gin? Try vodka for a cleaner taste, but you'll miss the botanicals that make this cocktail a garden in a glass.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

A zesty 1 oz of lemon juice cuts the sweetness and adds balance. Without it, you'd be in a sticky situation from the grenadine. Plus, it's a crucial acid component; skimping will make the drink too sweet, hitting it too hard turns the drink sour – literally. Swap with lime for a tart twist.

Mary Mitkina


Our sweet friend grenadine lends 1 oz of ruby charm to the mix. It gives a rosy glow and a pomegranate punch. Too much, and you'll think you're sipping syrup; too little, and the drink's just blushing instead of beaming. Simple syrup will do in a pinch, with a subtler sweetness.

Alex Green


Just a dash of absinthe brings the party with its anise flavor; too much, and the party's been crashed by licorice. The absence of absinthe would be like a cake missing its cherry – something's just not right. No absinthe? Try pastis for a similar anise hit, or leave it out for a more conventional cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Commonwealth Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of gin, 1 oz of lemon juice, 1 oz of grenadine, and a dash of absinthe.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality gin for the best flavor.
  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to properly mix the ingredients and chill the drink.
  • Serve in a chilled glass to keep the cocktail cold for longer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platters: The botanical flavors in gin complement the creamy and nutty flavors of cheeses like brie or gouda.
  • Seafood: The lemon in the cocktail pairs well with light seafood like shrimp cocktail or oysters.
  • Spicy food: The sweetness of grenadine can balance out spicy flavors in dishes like Thai spring rolls or buffalo wings.


  • Lemon desserts: Enhance the citrus notes by pairing with lemon tart or lemon sorbet.
  • Berries: Fresh strawberries or a berry compote will go nicely with the fruity sweetness of grenadine.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Sparkling water: To cleanse the palate between sips.
  • Iced tea: A non-alcoholic option that complements the herbal notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Commonwealth

If you don't have absinthe, you can substitute it with Pernod or any other anise-flavored liqueur. If you don't have grenadine, you can use a simple syrup with a dash of pomegranate juice.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Elderflower Commonwealth

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine
  • 1 dash Absinthe Recipe: Add an elderflower liqueur for a floral twist. The elderflower's sweet fragrant profile will add another layer of botanical bliss to the Commonwealth, creating a bouquet in a glass.

Spiced Commonwealth

  • 2 oz Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Grenadine
  • 1 dash Absinthe
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters Recipe: Swap gin with spiced rum for a warmer, spicier body. Angostura bitters introduce complex flavors and add a hint of exotic spice that complements the cocktail's sweet and sour balance.

Green Fairy Commonwealth

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 0.75 oz Grenadine
  • 0.25 oz Absinthe Recipe: Increase the absinthe for a more pronounced anise flavor, replacing lemon with lime juice for an extra twist of tartness. This version is for those who enjoy the mysterious allure of the Green Fairy dancing on their tastebuds.

In case you forgot basics how to make Commonwealth

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 Commonwealth

Can I replace gin with any other type of liquor in the Commonwealth Cocktail?

Gin has a unique flavor profile, and replacing it may significantly compose the taste. However, if you must, you can try vodka as it is the most neutral spirit.

What kind of garnish can I use if I don't have a lemon twist at hand?

While a lemon twist is traditional, any citrus twist or even a cherry can work as a garnish.

Are there any low-calorie alternatives I can use to make the Commonwealth Cocktail?

To lower the calorie content, consider using a natural sweetener like stevia instead of grenadine, and opting for diet-friendly spirits.

What's the best time to serve a Commonwealth Cocktail?

It's ideal for the evening, especially when served before dinner, due to the strength of the gin and absinthe.

Why is it necessary to chill the cocktail glass before serving?

Chilling the glass before serving helps keep the cocktail in its ideal cold temperature for a longer time.

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