Richard Ashton’s Trinity Cocktail

One of Saucy Dressings’ readers (and contributors) emailed me recently having read the post on the warming Boulevardier cocktail. He felt winter was approaching and was he was going to try it out.

But in the meantime he told me:

“I think of gin as a summer spirit, but there’s a very strange little cocktail called a Trinity which is really quite an effective winter warmer. Equal parts gin, sweet red vermouth, and dry ginger ale. Sounds completely improbable but it works. No ice of course.”

I was intrigued. I had to find out a bit more, and I discovered that the original Trinity (according to my cocktail bible, The Savoy Cocktail Book) is what I know as a Spanish cocktail called, somewhat uncreatively, una combinación. Post to come on that.

I have to admit I was a bit dubious about my friend’s version of this drink – to be well-balanced a cocktail usually needs a bit of strong, a bit of sweet and a bit of bitter… and I’m not convinced about the ability of the dry ginger ale (usually, in fact, rather sweet) to fill the role of ‘bitter’.

On the other hand, my friend is nothing if not daring and original – he is the one trying to grow Reisling in Portugal after all. Dogmatic narrow-mindedness would not impress him. So to earn his respect I thought I ought to give it a go.

I wished my mother was still alive to try this drink with me. She would definitely have liked it as much as I (to my surprise) did because it’s a sort of hybrid of two of her favourite cocktails – a gin and It (gin and Italian (red) vermouth) and a whisky mac (whisky mixed with Stone’s ginger wine). It is a bit sweet – not in a cloying way – but I add a few drops of Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Aphrodite bitters, and I think it improves it. These bitters have a  ‘a complex profile focused on the sensuous flavours of coffee and cacao’.

And it’s the ginger which is what helps to warm the cockles. In fact this is rather an elegant, wholly satisfactory, winter pre-prandial.

Recipe for Richard Ashton’s Trinity Cocktail

Serves 1


  • 30ml red vermouth
  • 30ml gin
  • 30 ml dry ginger ale
  • a few drops of bitters


  1. Mix all together in a cocktail glass.
  2. Shun ice!
  3. Consider an orange peel garnish.

Music to listen to while enjoy this cocktail

It has to be We Three, by the Ink Spots.

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