Blue Bird Cocktail Variations and Substitutions
Play around with available ingredients or experiment with different styles of gin to customize your blue bird cocktail perfectly.
- Skip the herbaceous and pungent bitters in favor of orgeat for a sweeter almond flavoring.
- Explore different styles of gin, such as Old Tom, Plymouth, London dry, or genever, to see which profile you like best in your blue bird cocktail.
- Decrease the amount of blue curaçao to cut down on the sweetness, or add an extra splash of lemon juice to give a little more tart flavoring.
- If you want to keep the bitters but are looking for a different flavor, try out cherry, lemon, or peach bitters.
Garnishes for the Blue Bird
Get crafty with your cocktail garnish, or keep it simple using any of these options.
- A lemon peel, twist, or coin also makes for an excellent lemon garnish.
- Highlight the orange flavors by using an orange wheel or slice. Likewise, you can use an orange ribbon, peel, or twist.
- Carefully cut a wing design into a large citrus peel.
- Give your drink a little more color by dropping in a cocktail or maraschino cherry.
A Look at the Blue Bird Cocktail
Despite a very-in-English name, some believe the blue bird cocktail was first shaken up in France around the late 1950s or early 1960s. Like many other classic cocktails, The Savoy Cocktail Book gets the credit for the first published recipe. However, this recipe appeared far earlier in 1937 with a few changes. The 1937 blue bird cocktail calls for vodka instead of gin as its base, and it also uses maraschino liqueur, omitting the blue curaçao but still using lemon juice.
It wouldn't be until Bill Tarling's riff that the blue bird would genuinely become a blue cocktail. His recipe omits the aromatic bitters in favor of orgeat, an almond syrup most often found in tropical drinks.
Take Flight With a Blue Bird Cocktail
Take to the skies with a botanical blue bird cocktail. For gin drinkers and those new to gin alike, this cocktail offers a complex cocktail that's both sweet and tart with an incredible balance. Spread your wings and enjoy.