Savannah Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Savannah 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 Savannah cocktail is a classic cocktail that originated in the early 20th century in Savannah, Georgia. It was created by a bartender named James Oglethorpe, who was inspired by the city's beautiful architecture and vibrant culture. The cocktail quickly gained popularity among the city's elite and soon became a staple at high society events.

  • The Savannah cocktail is often associated with the city's rich history and elegant charm.
  • It is said to have been a favorite of famous author and Savannah native, Flannery O'Connor.
  • The cocktail has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to the growing craft cocktail movement.

How Savannah Tastes?

The Savannah cocktail is a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. The combination of citrus, herbal, and floral notes creates a refreshing and complex taste profile. The cocktail is light and crisp, with a subtle sweetness and a hint of tartness.

Interesting facts about Savannah

  • The Savannah cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Southern Belle' due to its elegant and sophisticated nature.
  • The cocktail is often served at garden parties and other outdoor events in Savannah, as it is a refreshing and light option for warm weather.
  • The original recipe for the Savannah cocktail called for a specific brand of gin, which has since been discontinued. Modern interpretations of the cocktail often use a high-quality London Dry Gin as a substitute.


A few good options for Savannah are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Used as the base spirit, gin brings a complex botanical profile that can include juniper, coriander, citrus, and many other herbs and spices. The 2oz measurement provides a balanced spirit presence without it being overpowering. If less gin is used, the cocktail may become too light and the other flavors might dominate. Too much, and it becomes less of a refreshing cocktail and more of a gin-forward drink, which might not be as pleasant for all palates.

Mary Mitkina


The 0.75oz lemon juice gives the Savannah that necessary tartness and bright, zesty flavor, which makes it crisp and refreshing. It acts as a counterbalance to the sweetness of the other ingredients. If you skimp on the lemon juice, you'd miss the zesty kick; if you overdo it, the cocktail could end up too acidic. Freshly squeezed is best, but if in a pinch, bottled lemon juice could substitute with a slight detriment to freshness.

Alex Green


With its 0.5oz, St-Germain adds an exotic, floral sweetness from elderflowers. It's the 'je ne sais quoi' of the cocktail, imparting an alluring and aromatic flavor. Use too little, and you lose that floral whisper; too much, and it will overpower the delicate balance. If you can't find St-Germain, an elderflower cordial could do the trick, though it may be a tad sweeter.

Emma Rose


Not just for spritzes! This 0.5oz of Aperol introduces a slightly bitter, complex, and herbal character as well as a gentle pink hue. Just the right amount adds depth and a hint of bitterness to counter the sweet and floral notes. If omitted, the cocktail would lack complexity. Campari could serve as a bolder substitute, but beware—it's much bitterer!

Mary Mitkina


The garnish isn't just for looks; it adds an aromatic oleo-saccharum (oils from the peel) to the nose and sometimes the rim of the glass, enhancing the citrus experience with every sip. No twist could leave the cocktail feeling a little one-dimensional.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Savannah Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, lemon juice, St-Germain, and Aperol to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and well combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. Bottled juice can't compare.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail into it. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously. This not only mixes the ingredients well but also helps to chill the drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platter: A selection of mild to medium cheeses, avoiding very strong flavors that could overwhelm the cocktail's delicacy.
  • Salty nuts: The saltiness will contrast well with the cocktail's slight bitterness and floral notes.
  • Grilled shrimp: Light and zesty, complementing the citrus components of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled white fish: Such as cod or bass, which will harmonize with the drink's freshness without overpowering it.
  • Chicken piccata: The lemon in the dish will echo the citrusy notes in the Savannah.


  • Lemon sorbet: To cleanse the palate and enhance the citrus flavors in the cocktail.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Savannah

  • Gin: You can use any type of gin, but a London Dry Gin is recommended for its crisp, clean flavor.
  • St-Germain: If you can't find St-Germain, you can substitute it with another elderflower liqueur.
  • Aperol: Campari can be used as a substitute for Aperol, but it will make the drink a bit more bitter.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Savannah Sunset

  • Substitute Aperol with Campari (0.5oz): for a punchier bitterness.
  • Add a splash of soda water: to mellow the drink and add a fizzy texture.
  • Garnish with an orange twist: for a different citrus note.

Shake the gin, lemon juice, St-Germain, and Campari. Strain into a chilled glass with ice, top with soda, and garnish with an orange twist. The Campari brings a more robust bitterness, changing the sip from a delicate tease to a bolder statement.

Southern Belle

  • Use bourbon instead of gin (2oz): for a sweeter, oakier profile.
  • Add peach nectar (0.5oz): to give a Southern fruity twist.

Shake the bourbon, lemon juice, St-Germain, Aperol, and peach nectar with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a slice of peach. This version is like a visit to Georgia, with warm and comforting flavors taking the lead.

Garden Party

  • Include cucumber slices (2-3) in the shaker:
  • Use a splash of elderflower tonic instead of St-Germain:
  • Muddle mint leaves (5-6) before shaking:

Muddle the cucumber and mint in the shaker, add the gin, lemon juice, and Aperol, shake with ice, and then strain into a glass over ice. Top with elderflower tonic and garnish with a mint sprig. It’s a refreshing twist, perfect for a sunny afternoon with a hint of the garden in every sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Savannah

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Savannah

What is the best type of gin to use for a Savannah cocktail?

While the original recipe calls for a specific but now discontinued brand of gin, modern interpretations generally recommend a high-quality London Dry Gin.

Can other cocktails be made using the same ingredients?

Yes, other cocktails can be made using the same ingredients. For example, you could make a variation of a sour using the gin, lemon juice, and St-Germain.

What kind of events are Savannah cocktails usually served at?

The Savannah cocktail, due to its refreshing and light nature, is often served at outdoor events like garden parties, especially in warm weather.

What other names is the Savannah cocktail known by?

The Savannah cocktail is sometimes also referred to as the 'Southern Belle' because of its elegant and sophisticated nature.

If I don't like a bitter taste, should I still try a Savannah cocktail?

The taste of a Savannah cocktail is a balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. If you're not sure about bitter flavours, you could try it and see if the combination works for you.

More similar recipes to Savannah!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe