April 20, 2018


Ritz Cocktail

Learn how to make the Ritz Cocktail, flamed orange peel and all.

The Ritz Cocktail was created for the Aurora Hotel by Dale Degroff, one of the biggest names in the modern cocktail world.

The Ritz Cocktail is balanced between sweet, tart, adventurous and familiar.

Elegant is the word that comes to mind.

The ingredients in this drink are sort of an intermediate level home bar with Cointreau and Maraschino both in that category of things you but after you have a few bottles of base spirits.

If that is the case for you this cocktail is an excellent excuse for you to dive in and grab them for yourself.

Ingredients of the Ritz Cocktail.

Cointreau is a bit on the expensive end of the spectrum but it is well made and totally worth it. You can try to sneak in a cheap triple sec in cocktails that call for Cointreau but it just is not quite the same.

As for Maraschino, it is one of those bottles that you will end up buying along the way so just bite the bullet and grab it now. It is really irreplaceable in recipes.

The distinct complex, green, slightly herbal characteristics you get from it are tricky to describe, but when a recipe calls for Maraschino, it won’t be the same without it.

I often use the same reasoning when staring at the shelves in the liquor store trying to convince myself WHY I NEED YET ANOTHER BOTTLE, and it usually comes down to me telling myself I will end up using it again.

Buying alcohol to stock your home bar can be an intimidating and expensive process, but before you know it you will have enough bottles to make all kinds of fun drinks. Which brings us to Cognac….just buy a bottle.

Cognac is grape brandy from the Cognac region of France and has lots of fancy rules and regulations, but it tastes really great on its own and in cocktails. Look for a bottle labeled V.S.O.P that is not out of your budget and give that a go as a good place to start.

Ritz Cocktail

How to do a flamed orange peel for a cocktail.

The flamed orange peel seems to be a favorite technique of Dale’s. It looks really cool and comes across as a fancy bar trick, but it is not that difficult to pull off.

Start by cutting a thick circle of orange peel about 2 inches thick getting some of the white pith to give it some structure.

Then hold the piece of peel skin side down about 3-5 inches about the top of your finished drink. Using a lighter or match bring the flame to just under the skin to heat the oils in the skin, the peel will start to become shiny as the oils work themselves to the surface.

Now with the skin of the peel aimed at the top of the drink quickly squeeze it to express the oils right onto the top of your cocktail. This little trick looks really cool but it also adds a slightly caramelized orange note to the drink.

Great for something sophisticated like The Ritz Cocktail.

Make this at your next fancy party and show all your friends how totally awesome you are because you can flame an orange peel.


USEFUL LINKS: Maraschino, Shaking Drinks



Ritz Cocktail Recipe


  • 3/4 oz Cognac
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Marschino
  • 1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 oz Sparkling Wine
  • Flamed Orange Peel


  • Add the Cognac, Cointreau, Maraschino and Lemon Juice to your shaker.
  • Add ice and shake for about 8-10 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Top with your sparkling wine.
  • Flame an orange peel over the top by cutting a 2 inch circle of orange peel. Then hold the piece of peel skin side down over the flame so the flame almost touches it. Warm the oils in the skin for a few seconds before squeezing the peel to express the oils through the flame and onto the drink.
Tag me at @mydrinkinghobby when you make this!

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