November 21, 2022

Fitzgerald Cocktail Recipe: A Deliciously Easy Lemon Gin Sour

A refreshing gin and lemon cocktail that gets a welcomed new layer of flavor from a few dashes of bitters.

straining the Fitzgerald cocktail into a vintage glass

Some cocktails you can pick out the ingredients when you take a sip and give it a little thought, but not the Fitzgerald.

The combination of ingredients creates a totally new an unique flavor that's really damn delicious.

Fresh lemon juice paired with a crisp gin is a no-brainer combination, but try adding in some Angostura bitters and it really creates a whole new cocktail.

measuring a jigger of gin

The Fitzgerald cocktail history

The Fitzgerald cocktail was created by Dale Degroff when working at New York City's Rainbow Room.

First recorded in his book The Craft of The Cocktail in 2002 the Fitzgerald has made it's way into the world of modern classics. Similar to the Penicillin or Paper Plane most cocktail bars will have bartenders that know them even though they are fairly new drinks.

Just like the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Fitzgerald is named after a famous author that enjoyed the drinks base spirit, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

squeezing fresh lemon juice

A gin sour with Angostura bitters

A "Sour" style cocktail is a base of booze, citrus juice and sweetener.

That simple formula is the foundation of many classics like the Daiquiri, Margarita, and the Gimlet so making a lemon and gin sour is nothing earth-shattering. 

The Magic is in the bitters

Clove and deep warm baking spice notes are highlights of Angostura bitters and the contrast to the fresh zingy lemon juice is awesome.

It takes the drink from something basic to a cocktail with subtle hints of spice that make a huge difference.

You could certainly use other aromatic style bitters in your Fitzgerald or even try cinnamon, cardamom, or other dark spice flavors.

pouring homemade simple syrup

What is the right Fitzgerald recipe?

The simpler a cocktail recipe is the more people tend to mess around with the ratios of the ingredients, and for good reason.

When there are only a few elements to taste it's important that you get a balance that you enjoy. Make one, taste it, and adjust it however you like.

adjusting the lemon and simple syrup

This is Degroff's original recipe uses 3/4 oz of lemon juice, but you could up it to a full oz for a drink that's just a little less on the sweet side (that's the same ratio I love for making Daiquiris).

You can also use a more standard 2 oz pour of gin to make a slightly stiffer cocktail.

However you make your Fitzgerald, cheers to trying new cocktails!

the finished fitzgerald cocktail

Fitzgerald Cocktail

A delicious lemon and gin sour that uses Angostura bitters to add a delicious layer of spice


  • 1 1/2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters


  • Add all the ingredients to your cocktail shaker
  • Add ice and shake hard for about 10 seconds
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass


To make the cocktail a bit more tart try adding in a full oz of lemon juice instead of the 3/4 oz the recipe calls for.
Also try upping the pour of gin to 2 oz for a slightly stiffer drink.
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 drink
Tag me at @mydrinkinghobby when you make this!

Share the Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald pinterest

The combination of gin and Angostura bitters is delicious and adds a new level to a simple gin sour that makes the Fitzgerald totally worth trying.

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