Fox River Cocktail Recipe

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Fox River 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 Fox River cocktail is a classic American cocktail that originated in the early 20th century. It was named after the Fox River, which runs through Illinois and Wisconsin. This cocktail was popular among the high society and was often enjoyed at lavish parties and events.

  • The Fox River cocktail has a rich history and is associated with the glamour of the early 1900s.
  • It was a favorite among the elite and was often enjoyed at exclusive gatherings.
  • The cocktail's name is derived from the Fox River, which runs through Illinois and Wisconsin.

How Fox River Tastes?

The Fox River cocktail has a complex and well-balanced taste. It is slightly sweet, with a hint of bitterness from the bitters, and a smooth, velvety texture. The whiskey provides a strong, warming backbone, while the vermouth adds a touch of herbal complexity.

Interesting facts about Fox River

  • The Fox River cocktail is often served in a classic coupe glass, which adds to its elegant and sophisticated appearance.
  • The cocktail is typically garnished with a cherry, which provides a pop of color and a touch of sweetness.
  • The Fox River cocktail is sometimes compared to the Manhattan, as both are whiskey-based cocktails that feature vermouth and bitters.



Whiskey is the heart and soul of the Fox River cocktail. It provides a robust flavor that can range from sweet to smoky, depending on the variety used. 2 oz offers a strong but not overwhelming presence. If less is used, the drink may be too mild; if more, it could overpower the other components. If you leave it out, well, you don't have a cocktail, my friend - you'll be left with a slightly bitter vermouth on ice. An alternative could be bourbon for a sweeter twist or rye for a spicier kick.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet Vermouth adds complexity and sweetness, balancing the whiskey's punch with 1 oz that rounds out the bitterness of the Angostura and richness of the whiskey. Less vermouth would leave the drink too strong, more could make it cloying. Ditch it and you'll miss out on nuanced flavors; it's like a band without a bass player—something's amiss. A dry vermouth could be used for a less sweet alternative, resulting in a dryer cocktail.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

Angostura Bitters are like the cocktail's secret spice, using just 2 dashes to add a layer of flavor that ties everything together. Leave them out, and the cocktail may feel one-dimensional. Too many dashes and you're wading into bitter waters. Think of it as seasoning—just right, and it's divine; too much and you're in trouble. If you're feeling adventurous, orange bitters could add a citrusy spin to the drink.

Alex Green

Maraschino Cherry

The Maraschino Cherry is our little cherry on top. It's there for a touch of sweetness and a garnish that gives a nod to the classics. Without it, no one will call the cocktail police, but it's the final flourish that makes a good drink a great one. Plus, who doesn't love a boozy cherry at the end of their drink? If cherries aren't your jam, try an orange twist for some zest.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Fox River Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of whiskey, 1 oz of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Use high-quality whiskey for a smoother taste.
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting the drink too much.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platter: A selection of aged cheeses such as Gouda or Cheddar pairs wonderfully with the complex notes of the whiskey.
  • Smoked meats: Opt for smoked salmon or prosciutto to complement the drink's rich flavors.

Main Courses

  • Grilled steak: The bold flavors of a nicely grilled steak will harmonize with the whiskey's warmth.
  • Mushroom risotto: For a vegetarian option, the earthiness of the mushrooms pairs well with the aromatic bitters.


  • Dark chocolate: Indulge in a piece of dark chocolate to echo the cocktail's depth and sweetness.
  • Cherry pie: Match the maraschino cherry garnish with a similarly flavored dessert.

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What you could change in Fox River

  • Bourbon can be used instead of whiskey for a sweeter taste.
  • Orange bitters can replace Angostura bitters for a citrusy twist.
  • A lemon twist can be used as a garnish instead of a maraschino cherry.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky River

  • Substitute the whiskey for a smoky Islay single malt.
  • Follow the original recipe. This will give the cocktail a much smokier profile, appealing to those who appreciate the peaty flavors of an Islay malt. Perfect for a chilly evening by the fire.

Maple River

  • Substitute 0.5 oz of sweet vermouth with maple syrup.
  • Use bourbon instead of traditional whiskey.
  • Follow the rest of the original recipe. By swapping in some maple syrup, you'll get a sweeter, more indulgent drink with a pronounced maple note. The bourbon's natural sweetness will complement this perfectly.

Citrus River

  • Add a twist of orange peel as garnish in addition to the maraschino cherry.
  • Use orange bitters instead of Angostura bitters.
  • Follow the original recipe. Introducing a bit of citrus will cut through the sweetness and add a refreshing zest. This twist is great for summer evenings or as a palate cleanser.

In case you forgot basics how to make Fox River

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 Fox River

What is the best type of whiskey to use for the Fox River cocktail?

You can use any whiskey type as per your preference. However, rye and bourbon are commonly used because of their smooth and flavorful profiles.

What is the ideal temperature to serve the Fox River cocktail?

The Fox River cocktail is best served chilled. Typically, it is served at a temperature of around 7-10°C.

Can I use other types of bitters in the Fox River cocktail?

Yes, you can experiment with other types of bitters. However, the traditional Fox River cocktail recipe calls for Angostura bitters.

What can I pair with the Fox River cocktail?

The Fox River cocktail pairs well with a wide variety of foods, especially finger foods, steaks, and cheese platters.

What's the alcohol content in the Fox River cocktail?

The alcohol content in the Fox River cocktail varies with the type and amount of whiskey used. However, it is typically around 20%-30%.

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