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Diplomat Cocktail

The Diplomat cocktail is ideal to imbibe during secret liaisons involving international negotiations and other clandestine affairs. It’s also a tasty tipple that you can craft at home in just five minutes.

Diplomat-Cocktail-with-Bottles

Although the Diplomat has been tantalizing taste buds since 1922, we weren’t familiar with this particular cocktail until a reader who’s also a dear friend brought it to our attention. Thanks Kevin!

That liaison (i.e. email) was the impetus we needed to discover and master the Diplomat cocktail. Well, that and few bottles of liquor.

What Is the Diplomat Cocktail?

Diplomat Cocktail on White Marble
Despite its formal name, the Diplomat is a cocktail that’s both easy to craft and drink.

Technically a ‘shim’ due to its low-alcohol content and omission of hard liquor, the Diplomat is a sophisticated sipper. The cocktail combines both dry and sweet vermouth and adds splashes of maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters for good measure.

Read The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level if you like to drink cocktails without the risk of a hangover.

It’s also a truly international cocktail. Originally crafted in London, the Diplomat sports a Belgian inventor and includes ingredients hailing from Italy as well as Trinidad and Tobago

History of the Diplomat Cocktail

Diplomat Cocktail with Maraschino Cherry Garnish
We crafted this Diplomat cocktail in Europe, the continent where it was invented.

While the Diplomat sounds like a cocktail with an exciting past involving espionage and intrigue, its history isn’t a mystery. In reality, it’s quite mundane.

Our research traces the Diplomat back to bartender Robert Vermeire who included it in his iconic 1922 book Cocktails: How to Mix Them. Originally spelled ‘Diplomate’ due to its purported popularity within the French Diplomatic Service, Vermeire’s version included a 2:1 ratio of dry and sweet vermouth plus a splash of maraschino liqueur.

The Diplomat recipe evolved over the years to include a 1:1 dry/sweet vermouth ratio. At some point, Angostura bitters negotiated their way into the recipe too.

Diplomat Cocktail Ingredients

Diplomat Cocktail Ingredients and Tools
The Diplomat’s ingredients include dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters. Either an orange peel or maraschino cherry garnish completes the recipe.

The ingredient list required to craft a Diplomat is both short and sweet:

  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Maraschino Liqueur
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel or Maraschino Cherry (garnish)
  • Ice
Diplomat Cocktail Liquors
We used these bottles of Martini & Rossi vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and Angostura Bitters to craft our Diplomat cocktail.

Despite its low alcohol content, the Diplomat recipe includes four different liquors.

Dry and sweet vermouth, the Diplomat’s two primary ingredients, are both fortified wines infused with aromatic botanicals. Long associated with teetotalers and elderly aunts, vermouth has experienced a resurgance in popularity in European countries like Italy and Spain. It’s also is a key ingredient in drinks like the Manhattan, Negroni and Boulevardier.

While maraschino liqueur and bitters are supporting players in the Diplomat’s recipe, both balance the drink and are a must. We keep bottles of Luxardo maraschino and Angostura Bitters in our liquor cabinet for crafting cocktails like this one. They show up in quite a few recipes and never disappoint.

How To Make a Diplomat Cocktail

Diplomat Cocktail Mise en Place
We like to organize our ingredients and tools before we craft a Diplomat cocktail.

You don’t need any special skills or tools to craft a Diplomat cocktail at home. We use the following bartender tools in our recipe:

Don’t worry if you don’t have any or all of these tools. Each is inexpensive and you can improvise in a pinch.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Measuring Dry Vermouth for Diplomat Cocktail
Our Diplomat cocktail includes a 1:1 ratio of sweet and dry vermouth. We measure each with a Japanese jigger for accuracy.

Step One: Measure the dry vermouth, sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur.

We like to use a Japanese jigger but any jigger will suffice. You could also use a small angled measuring cup if you don’t have a jigger.

Click here to buy a Japanese jigger if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pouring Sweet Vermouth into Diplomat Cocktail
We pour both vermouths as well as the maraschino liqueur into a shaker after measuring them.

Step Two: Pour the three liquids into a mixing glass or other vessel. We typically use the bottom of our Boston Shaker since it’s airtight and easy to use.

Splashing Bitters into Diplomat Cocktail
One dash of Angostura bitters goes a long way in our Diplomat cocktail recipe.

Step Three: Add a dash of Angostura bitters.

Stirring a Diplomat Cocktail
The diplomat is better stirred and not shaken. We stir ours with a bar spoon.

Step Four: Add ice and mix until the liquors are combined and chilled.

Straining a Diplomat Cocktail
We strained this Diplomat cocktail into a fancy coupe glass in honor of its fancy name.

Step Five: Strain the stirred cocktail into a coupe glass. You can use a small martini glass or lowball glass instead if you don’t have a coupe glass.

Click here to buy coupe glasses with a gold rim.

Crafted Diplomat Cocktail
We garnished this Diplomat with an orange twist. Another option would have been to garnish it with a maraschino cherry.

Step Six: Garnish with either an orange twist or maraschino cherry. We typically have both on hand and choose based on our mood. Both options work equally well.

Diplomat Cocktail Recipe

Diplomat Cocktail in Coupe

Diplomat Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Diplomat cocktail is both low in alcohol and high in flavor. Why not drink one during your next liaison?

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • orange peel for garnish
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Pour dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters into a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until ingredients are mixed and chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel twist.

Notes

  • You can use a martini glass or lowball glass if you don't have a coupe glass.
  • You can garnish with a maraschino cherry instead of an orange twist.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Kevin aka The Dear Friend

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Looking forward to raising a glass with you both just as soon as it can be arranged!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Monday 17th of May 2021

Yes! Hopefully sooner than later in Lisbon, Atlanta or some yet-to-be-determined location.

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