Duchess Cocktail Recipe

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Duchess 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 Duchess cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It was first created in the famous Savoy Hotel in London, England, and quickly gained popularity among the elite and high society. This cocktail is often associated with elegance, sophistication, and royalty.

  • The name 'Duchess' is believed to have been inspired by the various Duchesses of the British aristocracy.
  • The drink was especially popular during the 1920s and 1930s, the golden age of cocktails.
  • The Duchess has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as modern bartenders rediscover and reinterpret classic cocktails.

How Duchess Tastes?

The Duchess cocktail is a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. It has a smooth, velvety texture and a refreshing, citrusy finish.

Interesting facts about Duchess

  • The Duchess cocktail was featured in the 1930 edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book, a classic cocktail recipe book that is still in print today.
  • The drink is often served in a coupe glass, which was originally designed for champagne but has become a popular choice for cocktails.
  • The Duchess is sometimes garnished with a lemon twist or a cherry, adding a touch of elegance and color to the presentation.


A few good options for Duchess are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

GIN: 2oz

Gin acts as the sturdy base of this royal cocktail. With its blend of botanicals, it adds complexity and depth. Too much gin, and you might overpower the subtle flavors; too little, and the cocktail becomes a faint whisper of its intended glory.

Emma Rose


Lemon juice adds zing and freshness, giving the Duchess a citrusy twist that's bold yet never overbearing. Leaving it out would be like attending a ball without your dance shoes - a big misstep!

Alex Green


Simple syrup is the sweet whisper that balances the tart lemon juice, ensuring the Duchess remains poised and graceful. If omitted, the drink could end up more sour than a court jester's humor.

Mary Mitkina


Orange bitters, like subtle hints of intrigue at court, provide nuanced flavor layers. Without these dashes, the cocktail would lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

Emma Rose


The egg white is the frothy cloak that adds a luxurious texture, transforming every sip into a royal decree of smoothness. Skipping it would leave the Duchess without her regal robes.

Alex Green


As the final touch, the lemon twist is the sparkling tiara atop the cocktail, providing a zesty aroma that invites you to the royal table of taste.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Duchess Drink

  1. Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange bitters, and egg white to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Perform a 'dry shake' (without ice) for about 10 seconds to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake again for about 15 seconds to chill and dilute the drink.
  4. Double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Dry Shake: This is a crucial step in creating the perfect Duchess cocktail. It helps to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  • Garnish: Expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on the rim of the glass enhances the flavor and aroma of the cocktail.
  • Glass: Always serve the Duchess in a chilled coupe glass to maintain its temperature and presentation.

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: The bright acidity of the lemon juice and the botanicals from the gin could enhance the brininess of fresh oysters.
  • Savory Cheese Plates: The complexity of the cocktail pairs nicely with the creaminess and rich flavors of cheeses like brie or goat cheese.
  • Smoked Salmon: With its citrus and botanical notes, this cocktail complements the smoky flavor of the salmon.

Main Courses

  • Grilled White Fish: The lightness of the cocktail won't overpower delicate fish dishes.
  • Lemon Herb Chicken: The citrus elements in the cocktail can brighten the herbal flavors in the chicken.


  • Lemon Tart: The cocktail's lemon juice harmonize with the tart's citrus flavors, providing a refreshing and palate-cleansing effect.

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What you could change in Duchess

  • Gin: If you don't have gin, you can substitute it with vodka. However, this will slightly alter the taste of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice: If fresh lemons are not available, you can use bottled lemon juice. But fresh is always best.
  • Simple Syrup: You can make your own simple syrup at home by combining equal parts sugar and water and heating until the sugar dissolves.

Explore all drinks starting with D here

And of course - twists🍹

The Countess's Choice

Modify with: Rosemary-infused Gin, Grapefruit Juice instead of Lemon, Honey Syrup instead of Simple Syrup, and a sprig of Rosemary for garnish. Recipe: Follow the original recipe using these substitutions. The Countess's Choice offers a herbaceous punch with a bittersweet edge, fit for the noble palate.

The Marquess Muddle

Modify with: Muddled Basil Leaves, Cucumber Gin, Lime Juice, and Elderflower Liqueur. Recipe: Muddle basil leaves in the shaker before adding the rest. A modern twist with a garden-fresh scent and an elegant, floral sweetness that'll make you the talk of the aristocracy.

The Baron's Berry

Modify with: Blackberry Gin, Raspberry Syrup, and a dash of Pepper Bitters, with fresh berries for garnish. Recipe: Mix ingredients as usual, but use raspberry syrup for sweetness. The Baron's Berry is a cocktail of sumptuous fruitiness and a hint of spice, for when the evening calls for a touch of the dramatic.

In case you forgot basics how to make Duchess

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 Duchess

What is the typical alcohol content in gin?

It typically ranges from 37.5% to 47%, but some gins can be as high as 57%.

Would this cocktail work well with flavored gins?

Yes, certain flavors may complement the citrus and bitterness of the Duchess, but it may alter the traditional taste of the cocktail.

Why do bartenders use a 'dry shake' in some cocktails?

A 'dry shake' is conducted without ice to get the full frothy effect of the egg white, allowing it to emulsify without being diluted by the melting ice.

What does it mean to 'express' a garnish?

This means to twist or squeeze the garnish, like a peel of a citrus fruit, to release its oils. It slightly alters the aroma and the taste of the cocktail.

How should I store open bottles of gin?

Store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, use within a year for maximum flavor.

Are there non-alcoholic substitutes for gin?

Yes, several companies make non-alcoholic spirits that have a similar flavor profile to gin.

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