The Joy Division Cocktail Recipe

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The Joy Division 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 16, 2024


The Joy Division cocktail is a modern classic, known for its strong and aromatic profile. It's a twist on the traditional Martini, adding a hint of orange from the Cointreau and a complex herbal note from the absinthe.

  • Inspiration: This cocktail is inspired by the post-punk band Joy Division, and it's as intense and memorable as their music.
  • Popularity: It's a hit among those who appreciate a potent drink with depth.
  • Occasions: Perfect for a sophisticated evening or a nightcap that commands attention.

How The Joy Division Tastes?

The Joy Division is a bold cocktail with a striking balance of botanicals from the gin, the herbal complexity of absinthe, and the sweet citrus kick from Cointreau. It's dry, slightly bitter, with a smooth finish.

Interesting facts about The Joy Division

  • The cocktail's name is a tribute to the iconic band Joy Division.
  • Absinthe's inclusion gives it a unique twist that sets it apart from a classic Martini.
  • It's often enjoyed by those who have a penchant for strong, spirit-forward cocktails.


  • Beefeater london dry gin: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Dolin dry vermouth: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Cointreau: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Vieux pontarlier absinthe: 3 dashes
  • Lemon twist: 1 garnish

A few good options for The Joy Division are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Beefeater London Dry Gin

Beefeater gin brings in the classic London dry gin profile, packed with juniper and citrus notes. It provides the robust base for our cocktail. Use too much, and your drink becomes a juniper bush; too little, and you've got a shy cocktail, afraid to speak up. A substitute? Try Plymouth for a softer touch.

Mary Mitkina

Dolin Dry Vermouth

Vermouth adds the herbal whisper that waves through this drink. It softens the gin's assertiveness. Without it, our cocktail would be too headstrong. Dolin is a top pick, but feel free to experiment with other dry vermouths for a different herbal dialogue.

Alex Green


This orange-flavored liqueur adds a touch of sweetness and complexity. It’s the secret whisper in a bustling room - easily missed but impactful. Get heavy-handed, and you overpower the subtleties; go without, and you'll notice something's missing. A swap? Grand Marnier will bring a heavier body and a brandy base.

Emma Rose

Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe

Absinthe brings a touch of bohemian spirit and a hint of anise. These dashes are like the spice in the life of your drink; skip them, and it loses its mysterious edge. Swap it with Pernod if you must, but you'll be chilling in Paris instead of dancing in the Moulin Rouge.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist

Finally, the lemon twist. It’s not just there for the looks; its oils add a zesty high note, balancing the drink and tying all the flavors together. Without it, the drink feels undressed. No lemon? Try an orange peel, but you're winking at Italy, not waving at Britain.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make The Joy Division Drink

  1. Combine Ingredients: Add 2 ounces of Beefeater London dry gin, 1 ounce of Dolin dry vermouth, 1/2 ounce of Cointreau, and 3 dashes of Vieux Pontarlier absinthe into a mixing glass.
  2. Chill: Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well until chilled.
  3. Strain: Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish: Express a lemon twist over the drink and drop it in.

Pro Tips

  • Stirring: Stir the cocktail for at least 30 seconds to ensure proper dilution and chilling.
  • Lemon Twist: Make sure to twist the lemon peel over the glass to release the essential oils before adding it to the drink.
  • Absinthe: Use a dropper for the absinthe to control the amount more precisely, as it can easily overpower the other flavors.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Oysters: The dry, crisp notes of the gin and vermouth, combined with the brininess of the oysters, complement each other perfectly.
  • Smoked Salmon Appetizers: The citrus from the lemon twist and the botanicals from the gin cut through the richness of the smoked salmon.
  • Cheese Plate: A selection that includes goat cheese, aged cheddar, and bleu cheese to contrast and balance the herbal notes of absinthe.

Drink Pairings

  • Water: Hydration is key when enjoying cocktails, and water will cleanse the palate between sips.
  • Champagne: For those who love to mix and match, a crisp glass of champagne before or after the Joy Division will prepare or refresh the palate.

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What you could change in The Joy Division

  • Gin: If Beefeater isn't available, any high-quality London dry gin can be used, such as Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire.
  • Absinthe: Pernod or any other absinthe can be substituted if Vieux Pontarlier is not on hand.
  • Vermouth: Any good quality dry vermouth like Noilly Prat can replace Dolin if necessary.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

The New Order

Replace the Beefeater gin with Hendrick's to add a hint of rose and cucumber. This twist offers a more floral and fresh profile to the Joy Division, making it the perfect evolution for a new wave of cocktail lovers.

Unknown Pleasures

Add a spoonful of blackberry puree to the mix for a fruity twist. This not only changes the color but adds a sweet and tart contrast to the herbal and citrus notes. It's a mysterious take that would make Ian Curtis nod in approval.

Love Will Tear Us Apart

Substitute Cointreau with Elderflower liqueur to bring in a sweet floral aroma. This variation softens the drink and adds another layer of complexity. It's a heartbreakingly fresh twist that will tear you away from the original with every sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make The Joy Division

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 The Joy Division

Why is it called The Joy Division?

The Joy Division cocktail is named after the iconic post-punk band, capturing the same intensity and uniqueness as their music in its flavor profile.

Is The Joy Division suitable for someone who prefers sweet drinks?

The Joy Division might not be the first choice for those who prefer sweet cocktails, as it is known for its dry and slightly bitter taste. However, the Cointreau does add a subtle sweetness.

Can I make The Joy Division in advance?

It's best to make The Joy Division fresh to enjoy its balance of flavors and proper dilution; however, you can pre-mix the spirits in proper proportions and chill them prior to serving.

What kind of glass should The Joy Division be served in?

The Joy Division should be served in a chilled coupe glass, which enhances its sophisticated presentation.

How should I store open bottles of spirits used in The Joy Division?

Spirits like gin, vermouth, and Cointreau should be stored in a cool, dark place to maintain their quality. Vermouth should be refrigerated once opened.

Can I use ice cubes instead of stirring with ice when making The Joy Division?

Stirring with ice chills the drink without overly diluting it, which is preferable. Using ice cubes directly in the glass could water down the cocktail.

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