I can’t say that the Lucien Gaudin Cocktail really took me by surprise. Its recipe shares striking similarities with a Negroni and the flavor follows suit. All the books I checked had the same recipe and my fellow bloggers have all stuck with the same. So, not a lot to go on there. And, quite honestly, the recipe doesn’t need changing. It’s very good just the way it is. The Campari and Cointreau combine to give you a solid punch of orange flavors while the vermouth and gin bring an herbal base layer. Finally you get hit with the bitter notes Campari is most known for which round everything out. A tasty tipple to be sure.
So, the recipe is solid, let’s focus on the ingredients. I’ll start with the simple choice, Campari. Get it, drink it, be well. Moving on, let’s talk triple sec. The recipe calls for Cointreau, but all Cointreau is is a premium triple sec and, for a drink that only uses a scant 1/2 oz and lots of bold flavors you should use a good, but less expensive triple sec. My go to is Hiram Walker Triple Sec. It’s under $10 a bottle and the flavor is great.
Vemouth is also a minor player, but it’s important. Don’t go with crap, get the same dry vermouth you’d use in a Martini and you’ll be set. Finally, let’s get to my favorite topic, gin. This is a drink with super bold Campari, complex, herbal vermouth and bright orange flavors, you need a gin that can stand up. Go with something bold and juniper forward. Anything citrus forward or light is going to get stomped on. I used one of my all time favorites, Junipero. The flavor is bold but nuanced. Tanqueray or Beefeater would also work great in this recipe.
If you’re a Negroni fan and you’re looking to change things up a bit, try the Lucien Gaudin. The flavors are very similar but switched up enough to make it interesting.