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The Wink

by Tony Conigliaro from Drinks

The Wink cocktail from Toni Conigliaro's brilliant book Drinks. This cheeky cocktail recipe is a glorious combination on gin, triple sec, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters and orange.


One of the most alluring aspects of the drinking experience is that a bar is an accepted environment in which to indulge in cheeky repartee. The interaction between customer and bartender is extremely important and it inspired this coyly named drink.

Whilst working at the extremely busy Lonsdale House, visiting friends often complained to me that they couldn’t get a drink fast enough. A remedy to this malady was found in the form of a surreptitious wink, whereby friends would walk in and wink at me to indicate the number of drinks they desired. Avid gin-drinkers at the time (and still, I’m sure), the wink denoted a form of gin Sazerac. The Peychaud’s Bitters and gin complement the orange note that pops up in the middle of the drink and the absinthe rinse on the glass induces a delicious aroma and subtle taste.

When this cocktail later found its way onto menus, it became the waiter or waitress who delivered the wink to the customer as they set the drink down.

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40ml gin
10ml triple sec
15ml sugar syrup
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
15ml absinthe, to rinse glass
Orange twist (a small piece of orange zest), to finish

Essential kit

You will need a cocktail tin.

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1. Combine the gin, triple sec, syrup and bitters over cubed ice in a cocktail tin.

2. Shake and fine-strain into a small, absinthe-rinsed rocks glass. To finish, spritz the orange zest over the drink and discard.

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