Ulysses Cocktail Recipe

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Ulysses Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:26%

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 Ulysses cocktail is inspired by the epic journey of the Greek hero Odysseus, as depicted in Homer's Odyssey. This adventurous and complex cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a tale of heroism and exploration. It combines flavors from around the Mediterranean, reflecting the many lands visited by Odysseus during his travels.

How Ulysses Tastes?

The Ulysses cocktail offers a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. The initial taste is citrusy and refreshing, followed by a subtle sweetness from the honey and a hint of bitterness from the herbal liqueur. The finish is smooth and warming, with a lingering spiciness from the ginger.

Interesting facts about Ulysses

  • The name 'Ulysses' is the Latinized version of the Greek name 'Odysseus', the hero of Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey.
  • The ingredients in this cocktail represent the various lands and cultures encountered by Odysseus during his journey.
  • The Ulysses cocktail is a modern creation, inspired by the classic cocktails of the early 20th century.


A few good options for Ulysses are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

GIN: 2oz

  • The backbone of any gin-based cocktail, gin provides the multifaceted flavors from its botanicals. Too little, and you miss the charisma; too much, and it overpowers the nuance of the other ingredients. A no-show gin would sink this cocktail like a ship without a sail.

Mary Mitkina


  • A sour spark to balance the sweetness, the lemon juice brightens the drink and engages with the gin. Take away the lemon juice, and the drink would lose its zesty cheerleader.

Mary Mitkina


  • The sweet seducer! Honey syrup rounds out the cocktail, providing a sweet base that complements the acidity. Less would make the drink too tart, more and you’d think you've stumbled into the Honey I Shrunk the Kids set.

Alex Green


  • The mysterious whisper in the background, it bumps the complexity, giving the drink a hint of intrigue. Without it, the drink could end up tasting like a one-trick pony with dull herbal notes.

Mary Mitkina


  • A fiery flirt that adds a spicy-sweet kick, balancing the botanicals. Too much, and the ginger takes the stage, suppressing the other flavors. Skipping it altogether? You might as well be playing checkers while others are playing chess with their taste buds.

Mary Mitkina


  • A couple dashes of complexity, the bitters add depth. If you forget them, the cocktail may fall flat faster than a bad joke at a stand-up show.

Alex Green

ICE: as needed

  • The unsung hero that chills and dilutes the mix to perfection. No ice means a warm, harsh drink, and nobody wants that party foul.

Mary Mitkina


  • The exclamation point on your cocktail, the lemon twist's zest oils add a bit of aromatherapy and sass. Neglecting the twist might not be a deal-breaker, but it's like skipping the cherry on top of a sundae.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Ulysses Drink

  1. Combine ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, herbal liqueur, ginger liqueur, and orange bitters.
  2. Add ice: Fill the shaker with ice and seal it tightly.
  3. Shake: Shake the cocktail vigorously for about 20 seconds, or until well chilled and combined.
  4. Strain: Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish: Express the oils from the lemon twist over the surface of the cocktail, then place the twist on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Shake well: The key to a well-mixed cocktail is a good shake. Make sure to shake the cocktail vigorously for about 20 seconds to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Always use fresh lemon juice and high-quality honey syrup for the best taste.
  • Chill your glass: A chilled glass will keep your cocktail cooler for longer, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platter: A selection of soft and hard cheeses pairs beautifully with the botanicals in the gin and the herbal and ginger liqueurs.
  • Smoked Salmon: The lemon twist garnish and citrus notes from lemon juice find a friend in the rich, oily flavors of smoked salmon.


  • Grilled Shrimp: The sweetness of the grilled shrimp will complement the honey and ginger flavors in the cocktail.
  • Sushi: Especially sushi with avocado or tempura rolls; the crispness of the cocktail cuts through the fatty textures nicely.


  • Lemon Tart: The tartness of the lemon in both the dessert and the cocktail will create a harmonious flavor profile.
  • Ginger Cookies: The ginger liqueur will resonate with the spiciness of the cookies, delivering a warm and cohesive experience.

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What you could change in Ulysses

  • Gin: If you don't have gin, you can substitute it with vodka. It will change the flavor profile, but the cocktail will still be delicious.
  • Honey Syrup: If you don't have honey syrup, you can use simple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Herbal Liqueur: If you don't have herbal liqueur, you can use a splash of absinthe or green chartreuse.

Explore all drinks starting with U here

And of course - twists🍹

The Sirens' Whisper

  • Substitute ginger liqueur with elderflower liqueur to weave a subtle, floral undertone. This enchanted version resonates with the floral notes of gin, creating a botanical ballet in your mouth.

Circe's Enchantment

  • Muddle a few basil leaves in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Basil introduces an herbal freshness that complements the existing flavors, adding a bewitching green layer to the liquid tapestry.

Telemachus' Voyage

  • Replace honey syrup with agave syrup and add a sprig of fresh rosemary. The agave brings a different kind of sweetness, and the rosemary's piney aroma sets sail on a voyage of herbal discovery that will have you longing for distant shores.

In case you forgot basics how to make Ulysses

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 Ulysses

What is the best gin to use for the Ulysses cocktail?

Ulysses cocktail can be made with various types of gin. However, using a premium dry gin such as Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or Hendrick's will enhance its distinctive flavor.

I'm not a big fan of sour taste. Can I adjust the lemon juice amount?

Yes, the amount of lemon juice can be adjusted to taste. If you prefer a less sour cocktail, simply decrease the amount of lemon juice used.

Are there any other bitters I can substitute for Orange bitters?

Yes, if Orange bitters is not available, you can substitute it with Angostura Bitters or Peychaud's Bitters. Each will slightly alter the drink's flavor trajectory.

What glassware is typically used to serve a Ulysses cocktail?

The Ulysses cocktail is traditionally served in a coupe glass. However, you can also serve it in a martini glass or any other stemmed glassware.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Ulysses cocktail?

For a non-alcoholic version, substitute the gin with a non-alcoholic gin alternative, and replace the herbal and ginger liqueur with a non-alcoholic aperitif. Adjust the amounts and taste to suit your preference.

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