I can’t seem to find any reason that the Army Navy Cocktail is named this, it has nothing to do with football rivalries, the military, or anything else. This cocktail is just a fancy take on a sour, and if you are so inclined, can include your own homemade orgeat. Or just buy some.
I used an Old Tom aged gin for this recipe. I love the way that the brandy barrel adds some depth and flavor to the gin, which comes out in this drink quite well. You can also make the Army Navy with “regular” gin, but it’s not as good then. This cocktail is quite similar to the Bearcat, which lets you smash up some strawberries with your gin and orgeat.
Army Navy Cocktail
- 2 Oz. Old Tom Gin
- .5 Oz. Orgeat syrup
- .5 Oz. Lemon juice
- 1 Dash Aromatic or orange bitters
- Lemon peel for garnish
- Combine all of your ingredients into your cocktail shaker.
- Shake vigorously with ice. Spend more time here to let the orgeat get a bit foamy and light.
- Strain into your cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
Origins and variations on the Army Navy Cocktail
Time travel back with me to 1948, where you might have stumbled across a book by David Embury, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. And while the book says “fine art”, cocktail are for everyone and they don’t have to be hard or complicated. This one’s easy!
You can, and should, make your own orgeat syrup for this. It’s quite satisfying, and you can really rage-pulverize the almonds for a bit of stress release.
Do play with your choice of gin here. I used Catoctin Creek’s limited edition Old Tom, which is just delightful. If you don’t live anywhere near them in Virginia, you can certainly have it delivered to you – lots of services carry them.
Ransom is another Old Tom style to try, although it is much sweeter than most Old Toms. Your preference.
The choice of bitters is another place you can mess with this drink. I had no idea you could get celery bitters? Try cherry, chocolate, aromatic, orange, there are tons of choices.
Your choice of garnish could be mixed up, too – or just toss it aside. The is such a gin forward and smooth drink that you may not want too much extra in the way of your base liquor.