The Sipsmith Blog

Around the World in 50 Classic Cocktails: the Jasmine

in Mixology June 12, 2019
The Jasmine

A summer-ready cocktail that’s perfect for Negroni lovers, the Jasmine is a delectable blend of gin, Campari, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Here’s why it’s time to get acquainted with this modern classic.

If you’ve never before sipped a Jasmine, it’s high time you gave this summer gin cocktail a try. Though it was invented just shy of two decades ago, this modern serve has since evolved into a staple in high-end drinking dens across the world. For cocktail geeks and passionate mixologists, it’s become a kind of secret handshake—a drink that telegraphs savvy and good taste.

Popularity aside, however, the Jasmine is also something of a trompe l’oeil. This pink gin drink—often served in Martini glasses, with the extra flourish of a lemon twist—may resemble a benign cousin of the Cosmopolitan, but it packs far more complexity and punch than its lookalike, thanks in part to the Campari. For those who love the Negroni—or those who want a slightly gentler introduction to the bracingly bitter serve—it’s an ideal choice.

Additionally, despite its name, the Jasmine has nothing to do with blossoming flowers. Instead, the creator of the drink, bartender Paul Harrington—who worked at the Townhouse Bar & Grill in Emeryville, California in the early ’90s—named it after his friend, Matt Jasmin. (The misspelling is Harrington’s; it was years before he’d realised his mistake, and by then too late to correct the cocktail’s name.)

The Jasmine

The Jasmine resembles the Cosmo, but packs much more of a punch.

As the origin story goes, Jasmin strolled into the bar one night and asked for a new drink. Harrington, who had just finished whipping up a Pegu Club for a customer, decided to make a twist on that early-20th century favorite. The Pegu Club is known for its blend of gin and Cointreau, which Harrington preserved. In lieu of lime juice, however, he swapped in lemon juice, and instead of bitters, he used ruby-hued Campari. The result is a drink that tastes curiously akin to spiked grapefruit juice: citrusy, bright, zesty, and pithily bitter.

It took a few years before the Jasmine caught on, but after Harrington published it in his 1998 recipe book, Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, its reputation spread. Today, though Harrington has since traded bartending for an architecture job, the drink has cemented his place in the cocktail pantheon—and it stands among numbers like the Bramble and the Espresso Martini as quintessential modern classics.

Want to make the Jasmine your summer serve of choice? Stick to Harrington’s classic recipe (find instructions below); if you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side, you can also add a small dose of simple syrup as a softening tweak. Whatever you do, don’t forget to squeeze your own lemon juice, and chill your glass before you use it: both are key when making a refreshing summer gin cocktail.

Summer is the perfect time to learn how to master the Jasmine.

The Jasmine

Adapted from Difford’s Guide

45ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin

7ml Cointreau

7ml Campari

22ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

7ml sugar syrup (optional)

Lemon twist, to garnish

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupette or Martini glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Are you sure?

Add a Gift Wrap Set

Gift Wrap Set

Gift wrapping service

Gift Wrap Service

Christmas gift wrap set

Seasonal Gift Wrap Service

Gift wrapping service

Seasonal Gift Wrap Service

Choose your gift box

Gift Box

We'll be sorry to see you go

We do hope you've enjoyed your ginny membership. Please help us to improve our Sipping Society Members' experience by letting us know why you've decided to cancel using the options below.

Welcome to the home of the quintessential London Dry Gin

To enter, please confirm that you are of legal drinking age in your country of residence:

Sipsmith encourages responsible drinking. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. By entering this website, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.