Up to Date Cocktail Recipe

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Up to Date 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 Up to Date cocktail is a classic pre-Prohibition era cocktail, first appearing in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 book 'Recipes for Mixed Drinks'. It's a sophisticated blend of rye whiskey, sherry, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a well-balanced, spirit-forward drink with a touch of sweetness.

How Up to Date Tastes?

The Up to Date cocktail offers a complex and well-rounded taste profile, featuring a harmonious blend of spicy rye whiskey, nutty sherry, and sweet, citrusy Grand Marnier. The Angostura bitters provide a subtle bitter backbone, while the lemon twist garnish adds a refreshing, zesty finish.

Interesting facts about Up to Date

  • The Up to Date cocktail predates Prohibition and has its roots in the early 20th century.
  • This cocktail is often considered a cousin of the Manhattan, as both feature whiskey and bitters as key ingredients.
  • The name 'Up to Date' likely refers to the modern and fashionable nature of the cocktail during its time of creation.


Rye Whiskey

  • Why 1.5 oz: This is the cocktail's backbone, providing a robust base. Too much and it may overpower the other flavors, too little and we lose its warming character.
  • What it adds: The whiskey contributes spicy and fruity notes, which are a quintessential aspect of the 'Up to Date' flavor profile. Without it, we'd miss the soul of the drink!
  • Alternatives: Bourbon could step in, bringing a touch more sweetness and a hint of vanilla.

Alex Green


  • Why 0.75 oz: Enough to round out the cocktail without overshadowing the rye whiskey. An imbalance could either weaken the whiskey's presence or make the drink too wine-forward.
  • What it adds: The sherry brings nutty and dry elements that add complexity and depth to the drink.
  • Alternatives: A dry vermouth could be an alternative, though the final taste will be lighter and less nuanced.

Mary Mitkina

Grand Marnier

  • Why 0.5 oz: Just the right splash to provide sweet, orange aromatics without turning the cocktail into a citrus bomb.
  • What it adds: It introduces a rich, silky texture and orange zest flavor which complement the rye and the sherry.
  • Alternatives: Triple Sec or Cointreau would maintain the orange flavor but make the drink a little lighter and sharper in taste.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

  • Why 2 dashes: It's just enough to add spice and complexity without turning the drink into a medicine cabinet.
  • What it adds: Bitters are the spice rack of the cocktail world, infusing the drink with herbal, spicy, and sometimes floral notes.
  • If not used: Skip on these and you'll have a flat cocktail, missing that certain 'je ne sais quoi'.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

  • Why 1: The single twist adds fresh, citrus aromatics and a zesty brightness to the cocktail's profile.
  • What it adds: It's all about the oils, which enhance the drink's aroma and provide a clean, crisp finish.
  • No Twist: Without it, the drink might feel too heavy and miss that uplifting citrus note that rounds everything out.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Up to Date Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the rye whiskey, sherry, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Rye Whiskey: Use a high-quality rye whiskey for a smoother taste.
  • Stirring: Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting it too much.
  • Lemon Twist: When garnishing with the lemon twist, squeeze it over the drink to release the oils, adding an extra layer of flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The savory flavors of cured meats pair well with the rich and spiced notes of the cocktail.
  • Roasted Almonds: Salty snacks like nuts complement the nutty undertones of the sherry.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: A well-seasoned steak can stand up to the bold flavors of the rye whiskey.
  • Roasted Lamb: The robust flavors from the roasted lamb will harmonize with the depth of the cocktail.


  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of the chocolate pairs perfectly with the citrus notes from the lemon twist.
  • Crème Brûlée: The sweetness of this dessert can provide a nice contrast to the cocktail's complexity.

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What you could change in Up to Date

  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon can be used as a substitute if rye whiskey is not available.
  • Sherry: A dry vermouth can be used in place of sherry.
  • Grand Marnier: Triple sec or another orange liqueur can be used as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with U here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Up to Date

  • Ingredients: Replace rye whiskey with 1.5 oz of smoked whiskey, and add a pinch of smoked sea salt.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, with the addition of the smoked whiskey and a pinch of smoked sea salt after the bitters.
  • Taste: Expect a bold, smoky character that plays well with the herbal notes of the bitters, adding a new depth to the cocktail.
  • Why Make It: For a more intense experience that enhances the cocktail's warmth and adds a campfire twist.

Sweet Date Revamp

  • Ingredients: Swap out Grand Marnier for 0.5 oz of Amaretto.
  • Recipe: Same steps, but with Amaretto to bring in a deep almond flavor.
  • Taste: A sweeter, nuttier profile that softens the edges of the rye and delights with a marzipan charm.
  • Why Make It: It's a delightful variation for those who enjoy a touch more sweetness and nutty undertones in their drink.

Citrus Date Delight

  • Ingredients: Use a blood orange twist and substitute two dashes of orange bitters for Angostura.
  • Recipe: Assemble the drink as usual, but highlight the citrus flavors by using orange bitters and a vibrant blood orange twist.
  • Taste: A lively, citrus-forward drink with a refreshing twist that's perfect for summer evenings.
  • Why Make It: To add a zesty, fruity lift that complements the sherry's dryness and highlights the cocktail’s vibrancy.

In case you forgot basics how to make Up to Date

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 Up to Date

What type of glass should I serve the Up to Date cocktail in?

The Up to Date cocktail is traditionally served in a coupe glass, but it can also be served in a martini glass or a rocks glass filled with ice.

Why is it important to stir the cocktail gently?

Stirring the cocktail gently helps to mix the ingredients without over-diluting the cocktail. It also helps to chill the mixture without introducing too much water.

What is the significance of the lemon twist garnish?

The lemon twist garnish adds a refreshing, zesty finish to the cocktail. The oils expressed from the lemon twist add an extra layer of flavor.

Why is it recommended to use a high-quality rye whiskey?

Using a high-quality rye whiskey can enhance the taste of your cocktail. It can provide the cocktail with a smoother, richer taste.

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