The Jasmine Cocktail Story
Paul Harrington estimated that it took him 30 seconds to create the gin drink that would eventually make him famous in the cocktail world.
The cocktail is known as the Jasmine. You're likely to have had it if you go to bars for craft cocktails.
The Jasmine is found in almost every cocktail recipe book published over the past two decades. Robert Simonson, a New York Times cocktail writer, called the Jasmine "a modern classic" in "A Proper Drink."
It's a drink that every bartender should know about.
Locals may not know that Jasmine's creator was a Bellevue resident, or that he was working in the Bay Area as a bartender when he invented the drink on the fly.
Harrington never competed with the Jasmine cocktail. He believes it was spread through word-of-mouth during the cocktail revival. It has a unique taste that everyone can relate to. It tastes just like freshly-squeezed grapefruit when it is done right," he stated.
Harrington, a Yakima native, grew up in Bellevue's Lake Hills neighborhood and graduated from Eastside Catholic School. He moved to the Bay Area in 1985 to attend UC Berkeley. Later, he worked at Townhouse Bar & Grill as a bartender to help pay for college. Harrington was curious by nature and wanted to learn the science behind each ingredient. He frequently looked through old cocktail books to learn about forgotten drinks.
What Made The Drink?
Spring 1992, at 10 p.m., a classmate just out of work, approached his bar and said, "Make me something new!"
Harrington had previously made a Pegu Club drink for another person and decided to make a riff on the classic for his friend. He kept the original ingredients of gin, orange liqueur, and gin, but substituted lime for Campari liqueur and Angostura bitters.
He named the drink Jasmine after his college friend, not realizing until many years later that Jasmin was the correct way of spelling the classmate's name.
When the Bellagio Las Vegas opened Jasmine Chinese Restaurant, the bartenders made Harrington’s cocktail the bar’s signature drink.
Although it is pretty pink, it is not sweet like a Cosmo. It's refreshing and citrusy, with a grapefruit-bitter finish.
The Jasmine cocktail has not been that well known, but around five years ago, the Jasmine cocktail started to pop up here and there.
Harrington followed his dreams and became an architect. Today he lives in Spokane with his wife Marta and their two children. He is also the owner of the Spokane bar-restaurant Clover.
CLICK A STAR TO VOTE!
- 45 ml Gin
- 10 ml Campari
- 10 ml Orange Liqueur
- 20 ml Lemon Juice
- Add ice to your shaker.
- Add the ingredients.
- Shake it cold.
- Strain into your cocktail glass.