- 1½ oz gin
- 3/4 oz green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
The Bijou dates back to the early days of the cocktail in the late 1800s when vermouth became widely available and the first Manhattans and Martinis were mixed. The first published recipe is found in a book The Mixicologist from 1895 which uses (the recently created) Grand Marnier as the liqueur. The Grand Marnier was fairly soon replaced by green Chartreuse and this is the widely accepted version first published in 1900.
The name Bijou, meaning jewel, is supposedly a reference to the colors of the ingredients: diamond, emerald and ruby. This implies that the sweet vermouth used was a red and makes it a Negroni with the Campari replaced by Chartreuse. I'll have to try that sometime. However, the recipe above, from The New Cocktail Hour, uses a colorless sweet vermouth so that the opalescent pale green from the Chartreuse shines through.
Take care with the Bijou. It's a jewel of a drink but it packs a lot of booze in a small glass.