The Dorian Gray


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The Dorian Gray_001


Welcome to the timeless elegance of The Dorian Gray, a cocktail that, much like its literary counterpart, boasts a classic charm that never fades. This sophisticated blend of gin and grapefruit juice, with a touch of elderflower and bitters, is a testament to the art of mixology. Let’s delve into the essence of this drink that promises to tantalize your taste buds with its citrus and floral notes.

Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, The Dorian Gray is a delightful addition to any gathering. Its balance of flavors caters to a refined palate, offering a sip of sophistication. Join us as we explore the rich tapestry of tastes and the storied history behind this beloved beverage.

Prepare to be whisked away on a journey of flavor that’s as intriguing as the character that inspired it. The Dorian Gray is not just a drink; it’s an experience, one that leaves a lasting impression with every glass.

Key Facts About The Dorian Gray

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 22% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 180 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 12g
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled Cocktail Glass
  • Typical Garnish: Grapefruit Twist

Interesting Facts about The Dorian Gray

  • The cocktail’s name is a nod to Oscar Wilde’s iconic character, symbolizing timeless sophistication.
  • Its blend of citrus and floral notes has made it a modern classic, beloved by many.
  • The Dorian Gray offers a perfect balance between sweet and bitter, appealing to a wide range of palates.

The Dorian Gray Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Dorian Gray is a symphony of flavors, with the sharpness of gin softened by the sweet and fragrant elderflower liqueur. The fresh grapefruit juice adds a tangy zest, while the aromatic bitters provide a complex depth. This cocktail is a celebration of citrus and floral notes, creating a refreshing and aromatic drink.

It’s a versatile cocktail that suits a variety of occasions, from a summer garden party to an intimate dinner. The Dorian Gray is particularly appealing to those who appreciate a drink with a literary twist and a balance of sweet and tart flavors.

History of The Dorian Gray

The origins of The Dorian Gray cocktail are as enigmatic as the character it’s named after. While not steeped in a long history like some classic cocktails, its recent inception has quickly captured the hearts of mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts alike. The drink’s literary inspiration adds an element of intrigue and romance to its reputation.

Anecdotes suggest that the cocktail was created to capture the essence of Oscar Wilde’s character – timeless and ever-appealing. It’s a drink that has evolved over time, with bartenders adding their own twist to the original recipe, much like the ever-changing portrait of Dorian Gray himself.

The cocktail’s popularity continues to grow, with many drawn to its elegant presentation and the story behind its name. It’s a modern classic that has found its place in the cocktail world, promising to remain a favorite for years to come.

The Dorian Gray Ingredients

  • Gin (2 oz / 60 ml): The base spirit, gin provides a crisp and herbal foundation for the cocktail.
  • Fresh Grapefruit Juice (1 oz / 30 ml): Adds a fresh and tangy citrus note, balancing the gin’s sharpness.
  • Elderflower Liqueur (0.5 oz / 15 ml): Offers a subtle sweetness and floral aroma, enhancing the drink’s complexity.
  • Aromatic Bitters (1 dash): Gives a depth of flavor, tying together the gin and citrus elements.
  • Grapefruit Twist: Used as garnish, it provides an aromatic zest and an elegant visual appeal.

Did you know? The Dorian Gray’s elderflower liqueur adds not just sweetness, but a hint of floral elegance, making it a distinctive feature of this cocktail.

Ingredients for The Dorian Gray Cocktail

The Dorian Gray Method


Begin by chilling your cocktail glass to ensure the drink stays cool. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, and aromatic bitters. This mixture is the heart of The Dorian Gray, where all the flavors start to meld.


Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Shaking not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly, softening the alcohol’s bite and allowing the flavors to fully integrate.


Once well-chilled, strain the mixture into the prepared cocktail glass. Straining is crucial to remove any unwanted ice chips or pulp, ensuring a smooth drinking experience.


Finish by expressing a grapefruit twist over the drink and placing it as garnish. The oils from the twist add an extra layer of aroma and flavor, making the cocktail as much a feast for the nose as it is for the palate.

Serving Suggestion

The Dorian Gray should be served in a chilled cocktail glass, which not only maintains the drink’s temperature but also showcases its clarity and color. The stem of the glass allows you to hold the drink without warming the contents, preserving its perfect chill.

The garnish, a grapefruit twist, is more than just decoration. It’s an essential element that releases essential oils into the drink, enhancing its aroma and flavor. To prepare the twist, use a sharp knife or peeler to cut a strip of peel, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith.

Elevating The Dorian Gray

  • Quality Ingredients: Use premium gin and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for the best flavor profile.
  • Proper Technique: Shake the cocktail until the shaker feels ice-cold to ensure optimal dilution and temperature.
  • Balance: Adjust the amount of elderflower liqueur to find the perfect balance between sweet and tart to suit your taste.

Elevating The Dorian Gray Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for The Dorian Gray

If you’re out of gin, vodka can be a suitable substitute, offering a cleaner taste. For a non-alcoholic version, use a gin alternative or seedlip to mimic the botanical flavors.

Similar cocktails include the Elderflower Collins, which shares the gin and elderflower profile, or the Greyhound, which also features grapefruit juice.

Add a twist

For a bubbly variation, top The Dorian Gray with a splash of soda water or champagne. This adds effervescence and lightness to the drink.

Another twist could be infusing the gin with additional botanicals or using a flavored gin to introduce new dimensions to the cocktail.

Experiment with different types of bitters to find unique flavor combinations that complement the existing profile of The Dorian Gray.

Preferred Liquors for The Dorian Gray

Select a gin that has a balanced botanical profile, such as Tanqueray or Hendrick’s, to complement the cocktail’s flavors. The choice of elderflower liqueur is also crucial; St. Germain is a popular choice that adds a luxurious sweetness.

Similar Cocktails to The Dorian Gray

If you enjoy The Dorian Gray, you might also like the French 75, which combines gin and citrus with the added sparkle of champagne. The Bramble is another gin-based cocktail that offers a fruit-forward taste with a hint of lemon.

The Negroni, with its bitter and sweet profile, shares a complexity that fans of The Dorian Gray may appreciate.

Food Pairings to go with The Dorian Gray

Pair The Dorian Gray with light appetizers like smoked salmon canapés or citrus-infused shrimp cocktails. The cocktail’s citrus notes complement seafood well.

For a more adventurous pairing, try it with spicy Asian dishes. The cocktail’s sweetness and acidity can balance the heat and enhance the flavors.

The Dorian Gray FAQs

Can I make The Dorian Gray in advance? It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can pre-mix the ingredients without ice and chill until ready to serve.

Is there a non-alcoholic version? Yes, use a non-alcoholic gin alternative and elderflower cordial for a similar taste experience.

What if I don’t have elderflower liqueur? You can substitute with a floral syrup or skip it for a less sweet version of the cocktail.

The Dorian Gray_001

The Dorian Gray

This cocktail, inspired by the classic character from Oscar Wilde's novel, is an elegant and timeless drink that, much like its namesake, never seems to go out of style. It features a complex, yet smooth blend of gin and grapefruit juice, with a hint of elderflower for sweetness and a dash of bitters to add depth.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice
  • Strainer
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 dash Aromatic Bitters
  • Grapefruit twist for garnish


  • In a shaker, combine the gin, grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, and aromatic bitters.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.


Other Notes: The Dorian Gray is a sophisticated cocktail that's perfect for any occasion. It's a modern classic that's both refreshing and aromatic. Adjust the sweetness to your liking by varying the amount of elderflower liqueur.
Keyword bitters, Citrus, classic, Cocktail, elderflower liqueur, Elegant, Floral, Gin, Grapefruit Juice, Literature Inspired, The Dorian Gray

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