This variation on a classic Martini is, as the name suggests, pretty classy. It is very similar to the Imperial cocktail, but with the addition of anise and orange flavourings.
There’s another version of the Tuxedo that uses sherry instead of vermouth and dates from approximately the same era. Sherry and vermouth are both fortified wines, but vermouth carries the flavour of various herbs and spices which are infused into the distillation. Sherry, on the other hand, comes originally from Spain and only contains grapes and added alcohol.
Madeira is another fortified wine and is basically Portugal’s answer to sherry. The additional alcohol (the “fortified” part) is added after fermentation which gives the same dry result as sherry. If alcohol is added during the fermentation, you end up with a sweet wine like the Porto you use in a Porto Flip.
The bottom line on all of this is that a classic Tuxedo calls for dry vermouth, and you shouldn’t substitute if you want the full flavour of the aromatic botanicals. If you want to make a sherry Tuxedo, you can substitute with Madeira and it will taste roughly the same.
Here’s the recipe for making a Tuxedo cocktail:
- 45ml Gin
- 45ml Dry Vermouth
- Splash of Maraschino liqueur
- Splash of Absinthe
- 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
- Maraschino cherry and a twist of lemon zest to garnish
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Add all ingredients and stir gently
- Strain into a cocktail glass
- Garnish with a cherry and a twist of lemon zest
- Cocktail glass