Keeley Cocktail Recipe

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Keeley 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 Keeley cocktail is named after the famous actress Keeley Hawes, known for her roles in various British television series. This cocktail was created in her honor by a renowned bartender at a high-end bar in London. The Keeley cocktail is perfect for fans of the actress, as well as those who enjoy a sophisticated and elegant drink.

  • The cocktail was first created in the early 2000s
  • It gained popularity among the elite circles of London
  • The drink is now enjoyed by people all over the world

How Keeley Tastes?

The Keeley cocktail has a complex and layered taste, with a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter notes. It has a smooth and velvety texture, with a hint of fruitiness and a subtle warmth from the alcohol.

Interesting facts about Keeley

  • The cocktail is named after the actress Keeley Hawes
  • It was created in a high-end bar in London
  • The drink is known for its sophisticated and elegant taste


A few good options for Keeley are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Vodka is the backbone of the Keeley, providing a clean canvas for the flavors to meld on. Its neutral taste allows the citrus and sweet notes to shine. If you skimp on it, you won't get that necessary kick; too much and your cocktail turns into a boozy slapper without the finesse we're after.

Alex Green


  • Ah, Cointreau! This orange-flavored liqueur brings sweetness and a citrus punch without overpowering. It's like the best friend that knows when to step back and let lemon have its moment. Drop it, and you lose complexity; overdo it, and it's like biting into an overly perfumed orange.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lemon Juice

  • The zest-meister of the party, fresh lemon juice adds that necessary zing and acidity to balance out the sweet. Without it, you'd have a flat, uninspiring drink. Think of the lemon juice as the life of the party—no one likes a dull affair.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

  • Think of simple syrup as the social lubricant; it smooths everything over. This touch of sweetness keeps the sour from causing a pucker fest. Skip it, and you may have some guests making that 'I-just-bit-a-lemon' face. Too much, and it's a sugar rush waiting to happen.

Alex Green

Egg White

  • The egg white is what gives the Keeley its runway-model-foamy head. It adds a velvety texture and mouthfeel that's oh-so-glam. No egg white means no fabulous foam to strut its stuff on your taste buds.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

  • This is your spice cabinet in a dash—Angostura adds depth and a hint of the exotic. Forgetting the bitters is like going out without your earrings; sure, you look fine, but could you have looked better? Absolutely.

Mary Mitkina

Garnish: Lemon Twist

  • It's not just about looks, darling. The lemon twist adds an aromatic allure when you bring the glass to your lips. It's the perfume that greets you before the taste even has a shot.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Keeley Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white
  2. Dry shake (without ice) for about 10 seconds to emulsify the egg white
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake again until well-chilled
  4. Double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass
  5. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters on top of the foam
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure the egg white is fully emulsified
  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: The acidity of the lemon juice and the brightness of the Cointreau can complement the briny flavors of fresh oysters.
  • Smoked Salmon: The silky texture and slight fattiness of smoked salmon would be cut through by the cocktail's citrus notes, making for a refreshing combination.
  • Cheese Platter: Choose lighter cheeses like goat cheese or feta, which will not overpower the cocktail's delicate balance.

Main Courses

  • Grilled White Fish: A lightly seasoned white fish would pair nicely, as the lemon in the cocktail could act similarly to a squeeze of fresh lemon over the fish.
  • Chicken Piccata: The lemon and caper flavors in the dish would echo the lemony tartness of the cocktail.
  • Vegetarian Stir-fry: A vegetable stir-fry, especially with a bit of a citrus element, could go nicely with the fresh and zesty profile of the Keeley.


  • Lemon Tart: Complement the cocktail's lemon notes with a dessert that echoes this flavor.
  • Fresh Berries: The lightness of fresh berries would not overpower the cocktail's flavors.
  • Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta: The creaminess of the dessert would contrast the sharpness of the Keeley.

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What you could change in Keeley

  • Vodka: Can be substituted with Gin for a different flavor profile
  • Cointreau: Triple Sec can be used as a substitute
  • Egg White: For a vegan option, aquafaba can be used

Explore all drinks starting with K here

And of course - twists🍹

The Keel-Berry

  • Add a few fresh raspberries to the shaker before adding the ice. This berry twist will infuse the cocktail with a fruity note that plays well with the citrus, giving it a more summer-y vibe.

The Smokey Keeley

  • Swap out the vodka for mezcal to get a smoky twist. The mezcal's earthy tones can add a layer of complexity that'll give your taste buds a smoky kiss without overpowering the citrus and sweet notes.

The Herbal Keeley

  • Muddle some fresh basil leaves in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. The basil will add a nice herbal note to the cocktail, making it feel more grounded and adding a refreshingly green dimension to the party in your glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Keeley

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 Keeley

What type of alcohol does vodka belong to?

Vodka is a type of distilled spirit. It is typically made through the distilling of fermented grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits or sugar.

What's the difference between a Dry shake and a Wet shake?

Dry shake means shaking without ice to emulsify certain ingredients, often an egg white. Wet shake means shaking with ice, usually done after a dry shake to chill and dilute the drink.

What is a coupe glass and why is it used for cocktails?

A coupe glass is a stemmed glass with a broad, shallow bowl. It is used for cocktails to enhance the beverage's aroma, appearance, and sipping experience.

What is Cointreau and how does it taste?

Cointreau is a brand of triple sec (an orange-flavoured liqueur) from France. It is renowned for its balance of sweetness and citrus bitterness.

What are Angostura bitters?

Angostura bitters are a concentrated bitters, or botanically infused alcoholic mixture, made of water, 44.7% ethanol, gentian, herbs and spices. It is often used in cocktails to add an aromatic, bittersweet flavor.

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