The Yale Cocktail | Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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The Yale Cocktail

This is the Yale Cocktail. It has a lovely flavor that isn’t girlie at all, blue color notwithstanding. 

It’s back to school time! Because this cocktail is named for one of the Ivy League colleges, I thought I’d make it in honor of the start of the new semester.

The Yale Cocktail

There are several versions of this cocktail, and evidently the original recipe involved creme de yvette, a liquor that is a blend of berries and violets. I guess for years creme de yvette was not available, so variations of this version with blue Curacao became the standard formula.

The Yale Cocktail

For the rest of the country, summer is usually winding down right about now. For those of us in southern California, there are still a few more weeks of heat left… pretty much until Halloween. September can be pretty brutal. One of the last college football opening games I attended, several band members were carried off of the field on stretchers due to the heat. I guess I’m saying that it’s really difficult to get into the “back to school” spirit here.

Therefore, to toast back to school, I offer my take on this refreshing cocktail, Ivy League name and all that. While it’s not quite Yale blue, here’s a toast to the annual back to school routine.

Yale Cocktail


2 1/2 ounces gin

1 1/2 tsp dry vermouth

1 1/2 tsp blue Curacao

dash of orange bitters
Optional: a squeeze of half of a Clementine orange


  1. Chill a martini glass in the freezer or fill a cocktail glass with ice. 
  2. Fill a glass or martini shaker with ice and add the ingredients.
  3. Shake or stir and strain into the chilled or ice filled glass. (In the summer, I will sometimes allow some of the ice pieces slip into the cocktail glass. Purists will object, so it’s up to you whether or not you want to let some of the ice shards into your cocktail.)
  4. Toast to back to school. 

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