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Knickerbocker Cocktail Recipe

May 22, 2018 | Post By Danny Mahoney
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There aren’t many cocktails that feature raspberries, but the Knickerbocker is probably the most popular classic drink that incorporates the fruit. It is confirmed that the classic drink has been around since the 1800s, but the origin story is a little murky.

Image of Knickerbocker   Drink

It is featured in the very first bartending guide, “Bon Vivant’s Companion”, in 1862, by Jerry Thomas. The knickerbocker actually was a term a long time ago to describe New Yorkers that were more apt to party, or in other words, were more down-to-earth than other New Yorkers. In fact, the term was so widespread that the author Washington irving wrote a satirical book in 1806 about the city’s culture under the alias Diedrick Knickerbocker. The term eventually led to being incorporated in the name of several establishments, including a five-star hotel of the same name.


  • 2 ½ ounces of rum
  • ½ ounce of raspberry syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of orange curacao
  • ½ ounce of lime juice


  1. Pour the ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into an old-fashioned glass.


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Old-fashioned glass

The cocktail may not be as popular as it once was, but that is bound to happen for a drink that has been around for over a century. It is always served with rum, although there are people who choose various types of rum for the drink, but gold rum is the most associated with the cocktail. The most common garnish is a seasonal berry or two, since the drink is a rum and raspberry drink.

Of course, like most cocktails, a lemon wedge is also an acceptable garnish. One great thing about the drink is how customizable it is – one can add more syrup if they want the drink to be sweeter, or more lime juice if they think the drink is too sweet. The Knickerbocker has several variations when it comes to the cocktail, but this is the most popular and the original version. Enjoy one today!



Photo of Danny Mahoney

Danny is a Melburnian liquor enthusiast and ex bartender turned web developer. Although an avid whiskey drinker he likes to practice the arts of cocktail making and mixing drinks. Danny believes there are always new concoctions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


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