Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross.

Port wine can be used to make excellent cocktails. This is one of them. Cognac, port and triple sec, that’s all it takes to be happy.

60 ml Park XO cognac
20 ml Graham’s Tawny Port 20 years old
15 ml Combier Triple Sec
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Preparation: Stirred.

Alternatively and currently preferred by us:

60 ml Chateau de Beaulon XO Cognac
20 ml Graham’s Natura Port
15 ml Hiebl Bitterorangengeist
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Betsy Ross was born Elisabeth Griscom on 1 January 1752 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then still a British colony. Legend has it that she sewed the first flag of the United States of America. But this thesis is probably very questionable. [1]

Flagge der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika 1777-1795.
Flagge der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika 1777-1795. [2]

Legend has it that in June 1776 she was visited by George Washington, George Ross (her late husband’s uncle) and Robert Morris of the National Congress. They showed her a draft flag, whereupon Betsy suggested replacing the six-pointed stars on it with five-pointed ones. She then allegedly sewed the flag in her living room. However, there is no contemporary evidence of this incident. The information is based solely on oral accounts by her daughter and other relatives and was only published in a newspaper by her grandson in 1870. Beyond that, there is no evidence. It is known, however, that the Pennsylvania State Marine Commission commissioned Betsy Ross to make ship’s flags, among other things. Nevertheless, some historians believe that Francis Hopkinson, a member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, rather than Betsy Ross, designed the official first flag of the United States. [1]

In any case, the drink is named after Betsy Ross and thus refers to an event that happened a long time ago. The drink itself, however, is more recent. The first known publication was in 1935 in Sloppy Joe’s Cocktail Manual, published in Havana. There, however, it is still called Betty Ross instead of Betsy Ross.

The Imperial, which was published by William T. Boothby in 1934, could be considered a relative of the Betsy Ross. The proportions are different here, but apart from the Angostura bitters, cognac, port and triple sec are also used there.

  1. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross: Betsy Ross.
  2. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Flag_of_the_United_States_(1777-1795).svg: Version of the “Betsy Ross” design of the first flag of the United States (i.e. with 13 stars in a circle), shown with square canton and modern 19:10 flag proportions.
Betsy Ross.
Betsy Ross.

Historical recipes

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 90. Imperial.

Cognac . . . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger Port Wine . . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
. Curacoa . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve.

1935 Anonymus: Sloppy Joes Cocktail Manual. Seite 32. Betty Ross.

1/2 Class of
Fundador Cognac.
1/2 Class of
Oporto Wine.
Drops of Curacao.
Drops of Angostura
Shake with cracked ice and serve
in a Manhattan glass.

1940 Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Seite 20. Betsy Ross Cocktail.

1 1/2 oz Brandy, 1 1/2 oz Port Wine,
dash of Curacao, 2 dashes Angostura
Bitters. Stir well in cracked ice, strain
into large cocktail glass.

1940 Crosby Gaige: Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide. Seite 144. Betsy Ross Cocktail.

1 jigger Brandy
1 jigger Port Wine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Dash of Curaçao
Stir well in cracked ice and strain into large
cocktail glass. Try this one with the yolk of 1 egg and
1 teaspoon sugar. Sprinkle a grating of nutmeg on the
top of each glass. In any event you don’t have to buy

1940 Pedro Talavera: Los secretos del cocktail. Seite 108. Faltan Cocktail.

Póngase en un gran vaso de cristal un poco de
hielo picado.
1/6 copa de Orange Bitter.
1/6 ídem de Curaçao La Campana.
1/4 ídem de Coñac.
1/2 ídem de Oporto.
Agítese bien y se pasa a la copa núm. 5, con una
corteza de limón.

1946 Bill Kelly: The Roving Bartender. Seite 26. Betsy Ross Cocktail.

1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash curacao
1 oz. brandy

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 75. Imperial Cocktail.

1/2 oz. cognac 1/2 oz. port wine
. 1/2 oz. curaçao
Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

1949 Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Seite 21. Betsy Ross.

2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic
bitters, 1 1/2 oz. Brandy, 1 1/2 oz.
Port Wine, dash of Curacao. Stir
well in cracked ice, strain into
large cocktail glass.

1953 Anonymus: Manual del bar. Seite 258. Sportman.

. 4 golpes de Curacao.
Refrescado 40 gramos de Oporto.
Servido en una copa de 40 gramos de Cognac.
90 gramos.

1953 David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Seite 145. Betsy Ross.

1 part Curasao
2 parts Port
6 parts Brandy (preferably Funda-
1 dash Angostura to each drink
Stir with large cubes of ice. A twist of lemon over each glass.

1954 Robert H. Loeb, Jr.: Nip Ahoy. Seite 74. Betsey Ross Cocktail.

Betsy Ross. Robert H. Loeb, Nip Ahoi, page 74, 1954.
Betsy Ross. Robert H. Loeb, Nip Ahoi, page 74, 1954.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 17. Betsy Ross.

1 Jigger Brandy
1 Jigger Port
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Curaçao
Stir well with ice and strain into
a large cocktail glass. As an eye-
opener this may be made with
the yolk of 1 Egg and 1 teaspoon
of Sugar. Shake with ice and
strain into glass and serve with
a grating of Nutmeg.

1963 Luigi Veronelli: I cocktails. Seite 17. Betsy Ross.

75 % cognac
25 % porto
qualche goccia di curacao
qualche goccia di angostura bitter
qualche scorretta di limone
Il terzo è composto dì due acqueviti, unite a far da base,
e di un solo elemento modificante; rappresenta l’eccezione.

1963 Luigi Veronelli: I cocktails. Seite 85. Betsy Ross Cocktail.

1 bicchiere e 1/2 di cognac
1/2 bicchiere di porto bianco
4 gocce di curaçao
2 gocce di angostura bitter
2 scorzette di limone senza nulla del bianco interno
ghiaccio a cubetti
Introdurre qualche cubetto di ghiaccio nel mixer. Versare
il cognac, il porto, il curaçao e l’angostura. Mescolare
piuttosto forte usando l’apposito cucchiaio, lasciar ripo­
sare uno o due secondi, riprendere infine a mescolare
ma lentamente. Servire subito in bicchieri guarniti ognuno
con una scorzetta di limone.

1965 Aladar von Wesendonk: 888 Cocktails. Seite 69. Betsy Ross.

1/2 Stock Brandy 84
1/2 Burmester Port rot
1 dash Curaçao
2 dashes Orangenbitter
im Mixglas mit Eis rühren und

1966 John Doxat: Booth’s Handbook of Cocktails and Mixed Drinks. Seite 100. Betsy Ross.

1 oz. Brandy
1 oz. Port
Dash Angostura
1/2 teaspoon Cointreau (or less)
Shake, strain into cocktail-glass.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 226. Betsy Ross.

Cocktail Glass Stir
1 oz brandy
1 oz port
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/4 oz orange curaçao

Hiball Glass Shake
Add egg yolk and
1 tsp sugar to above
Garnish with nutmeg

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 311. Imperial.

Cocktail Glass Stir
1-1/4 oz dry vermouth
1-1/4 oz gin
1 dash bitters
1/4 tsp maraschino liqueur
Cherry or Olive

Cocktail Glass Shake
3/4 oz orange curacao
3/4 oz port
1 oz Cognac

2011 Jim Meehan: Das geheime Cocktail-Buch. Seite 64. Betsy Ross. 6 cl Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac; 2 cl Dow’s Fine Ruby Port; 1,5 cl Grand Marnier; 2 Spritzer Angostura. Garnitur: geriebene Muskatnuss.

2016 André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington: The New Cocktail Hour. Seite 119. Betsy Ross. 60 ml brandy (Pierre Ferrand Ambre); 15 ml orange curaçao (Pierre Ferrand); 22 ml ruby port (Niepoort); 2 dashes Angostura bitters; garnish: grated nutmeg.

2017 Gary Regan: The Joy of Mixology. Seite 182. Betsy Ross. 1 1/2 ounces brandy; 1 1/2 ounces ruby port; 1/2 ounce orange curaçao; 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters.

explicit capitulum


Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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