How to Make a Gibson Cocktail

Gibson Cocktail on a black background garnished with pickled onion

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The Gibson cocktail is a classic combination of gin and vermouth. It’s most complimented with a pickled onion, something we don’t see too often in cocktails.

Gibson Cocktail on a black background garnished with a pickled onion

The Origins of the Gibson Cocktail

The Gibson cocktail is a tough one to pin down history wise. The most common theory is that Charles Dana Gibson created it when he challenged a bartender to improve upon a standard martini, so the bartender used a pickled onion and named the drink after him. This cannot be confirmed of course but it certainly makes for a fun story regardless!

How to Make a Gibson Cocktail

To make a Gibson cocktail, you need a few simple ingredients. One of which is a pickled onion which should be found near the olives at your local grocery store. The Gibson can also be made with vodka as opposed to gin if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • Gin
  • Dry Vermouth (should be clearly labelled as such)
  • A Pickled Onion

Directions

To get started making your Gibson, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place two to three ice cubes in a Boston shaker or equivalent cocktail shaker.
  2. Add two and a half ounces of gin.
  3. Add half an ounce of dry vermouth.
  4. Shake until the shaker is cold to the touch.
  5. Pour into a Martini glass and add a pickled onion as pictured.

Gibson Cocktail on a black background garnished with pickled onion

These are great alternatives to the traditional martini. Here’s the recipe for the Dirty Martini. The original printing of this recipe was in a book from 1908 making this a cocktail that’s been around for quite some time.  Try it and let me know what you think.

The Glassware

For this drink, you want to use a Martini glass but if you don’t have any available, you can also use a coupe such as the one pictured below. Since this is, however, a martini, it’s best to use that glass if available.

Some other great cocktails to try:

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Gibson Cocktail

The Gibson cocktail is a classic combination of gin and vermouth. It’s most commonly complimented with a pickled onion, something we don’t see too often in cocktails.

5 from 4 votes
Gibson Cocktail on a black background garnished with a pickled onion
Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Course
cocktails
Cuisine
American
Servings
1
Calories
187
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth (white)
  • 1 pickled onion

Instructions

  1. Place 2-3 ice cubes in a Boston shaker or equivalent cocktail shaker.

  2. Add 2.5 ounces of gin.

  3. Add 1/2 an ounce of dry vermouth.

  4. Shake until the shaker is cold to the touch.

  5. Pour into a Martini glass and add a pickled onion as pictured.

Recipe Notes

For an alternative to this drink, try a Dirty Martini.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 187kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 43mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 2.2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Mr. Kitchen Magpie

Hey everyone! I'm Mike (Mr. Kitchen Magpie). When I'm not sharing cocktail recipes here and on my Instagram (@mrkitchenmagpie), I'm enjoying a nice bottle of scotch in a vintage glass from my barware collection.

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Site Index Cocktails Gin Martini Vermouth

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Sheila Martin says

    I didn’t know there were different types of shakers!

    • Mike Johnston says

      You bet! Boston ones are the stainless steel ones you see that look like two cups that you shake. Ive got a big collection of glass ones too! Lots of different types!5 stars

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