Waldorf Cocktail Recipe

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Waldorf 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 Waldorf cocktail is named after the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first created in the late 19th century. It was originally made as a signature drink for the hotel's guests and quickly gained popularity among the elite. The cocktail is a classic mix of gin, vermouth, and absinthe, creating a unique and sophisticated flavor profile.

  • First created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City
  • Popular among the elite in the late 19th century
  • A classic mix of gin, vermouth, and absinthe

How Waldorf Tastes?

The Waldorf cocktail has a complex taste, with a blend of herbal, sweet, and bitter notes. The gin provides a strong, juniper-forward base, while the vermouth adds a touch of sweetness and depth. The absinthe imparts a distinct anise flavor and a slight bitterness, creating a well-rounded and intriguing cocktail.

Interesting facts about Waldorf

  • The Waldorf cocktail is named after the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City
  • The cocktail was first created in the late 19th century
  • The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is known for its luxurious accommodations and high-profile guests


A few good options for Waldorf are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the star of our show, providing a botanical backbone to the Waldorf. 2oz is the Goldilocks amount – just right. Too much gin and you're in pine tree territory, too little and your drink is more 'vermouth-y' whimper than 'gin-y' roar.

Emma Rose

Dry Vermouth

The wingman to our gin. Dry Vermouth rounds out harsh edges with a whisper of herbaceous charm. Using less could leave the gin overbearing, while more might steer us into Martini-Ville. Balance is key!

Mary Mitkina


A teaspoon of absinthe is like dabbing on a little perfume before a big date – it's there to intrigue, not to overpower. Skip it, and you miss a layer of complexity. Substitute with Pastis for a gentler anise-kick if absinthe is too strong for your taste.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

The spice in your romance. Two dashes add just enough zest without hijacking flavor town. Overdo it and your cocktail turns into bitter heartache.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist

This little curl of zest is all about aromatics. It's the difference between receiving a letter with a stamp or a wax seal – one whispers class. Without it, your Waldorf is just not fully dressed.

Mary Mitkina

Cherry Garnish

It's the cherry on top – literally. A garnish that looks good but also adds a sweet note if dropped in. No cherry? Try an olive for a savory twist, or go naked (the drink, not you).

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Waldorf Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add 2oz of gin, 1oz of dry vermouth, 1tsp of absinthe, and 2 dashes of orange bitters
  3. Stir the mixture until well chilled
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass
  5. Express the lemon twist over the cocktail and discard
  6. Garnish with a cherry

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer
  • Use a high-quality absinthe for a more pronounced anise flavor
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting it too much

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: Their briny flavor would match the botanicals of the gin and the anise notes from the absinthe.
  • Smoked Salmon Canapés: The oily richness of the salmon will be cut through by the dryness of the vermouth and the acidity from the lemon twist.


  • Roast Chicken: Simple yet allows the complexity of the Waldorf to shine without overpowering the palate.
  • Grilled White Fish: A dish with delicate flavors that won't clash with the subtle notes of the cocktail.


  • Lemon Tart: Echoes the citrus twist and provides a sweet counterpoint to the cocktail's dryness.
  • Almond Biscotti: Will complement the nutty and floral notes within the gin.

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What you could change in Waldorf

  • Vodka can be used instead of gin for a smoother taste
  • Sweet Vermouth can replace Dry Vermouth for a sweeter cocktail
  • Star Anise can be used as a garnish instead of a cherry for an extra anise kick

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Apple-infused Waldorf

Incorporate apple by adding 0.5oz of apple liqueur. It gives a nod to the namesake salad and injects a fruity complexity.

Waldorf on the Rocks

Serve this mixture over ice in a short glass and top with a splash of soda water for a bubbly, more refreshing take.

The Herbal Waldorf

Substitute gin for an herbaceous liqueur like Chartreuse. It shifts the cocktail from classic to a heady, herb garden experience.

In case you forgot basics how to make Waldorf

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 Waldorf

What glassware is suitable for serving a Waldorf cocktail?

The traditional Waldorf cocktail is served in a coupe glass, but it can also be served in a rocks glass.

Can I use any type of Orange Bitters?

Yes, you can use any brand of Orange Bitters. However, some top-notch cocktail enthusiasts recommend using high-quality artisanal bitters for the best flavor.

What’s a good time to serve the Waldorf Cocktail?

The Waldorf cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time. However, its sophisticated taste profile and elegant presentation can make it an excellent choice for evening get-togethers or dinner parties.

What is the alcohol content in a Waldorf cocktail?

The alcohol content in a Waldorf cocktail can vary based on the brands of liquor used but it's typically around 22-30%. Please always drink responsibly.

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