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Army & Navy


Army & Navy

This classic gin-sour style cocktail features the addition of orgeat, an almond based syrup, to give this drink a sweeter, more rich and nutty flavour than its sharper cousins. The Army & Navy makes a great choice for anyone planning a classic or gin based menu for their mobile bar hire.

Gin, Lime Juice, Orgeat.

*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.

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The Army & Navy is a classic drink, and whilst its military connections have never been confirmed it certainly has the poise and respectability of a decorated officer.

For those planning a gin based menu the Army & Navy could be a great addition to your bar hire.

This cocktail has a sweet and nutty flavour and is a great accompaniment to more sharp tasting gin sours. The almond syrup does mean, however, that this cocktail isn’t suitable for those who suffer from a nut allergy, if you’re considering this when planning your bar hire be sure to let your event organiser know, they can provide you with a full list of allergens as well as informing your bartenders so they can accommodate any allergies.

If you’re eager to feature some similar gin-sour style drinks or nut-free options, another delicious and classic gin sour is the South Side, this drink combines the classic gin, citrus and sugar mixture with the herbaceous freshness of mint, it can be served short like the Army & Navy or long, topped with soda, as a South Side fizz, for those wanting a longer, lower ABV option.

The Army & Navy is a fantastic gin drink, and the secret ingredient, orgeat, is a delicious sweetener for a range of cocktails, another famous drink featuring the almond-flavoured syrup is the Mai Tai, a tiki style mixture of rum, lime orange and orgeat, served long over crushed ice. This would be a great way to introduce some tropical flavour to your mobile bar hire.

If you’re interested in featuring the Army & Navy on your cocktail menu and want to know more about what drinks could be served alongside it, be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other gin based, almond flavoured and sour style cocktails from our list.


The military background of the Army & Navy has never been proved, although it is linked to the Army & Navy Club, Washington DC.

The cocktail appears in David A Embury’s 1948 book, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. The original recipe has changed to suit modern tastes, with Embury himself calling the original 8:4:4 ratio ‘terrible’.


Myths & Legends

With its first appearance in print being in David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, in 1948, just 3 years after WWII, it’s likely that this drink predates the war, but far less likely that the allied forces were sipping Army & Navy’s during their off time.

Some speculate that the Army & Navy is so named because of its similarity to a Daiquiri—a drink that definitely was drunk by British soldiers long before the second world war—but apart from the lime juice, (which is often replaced with lemon anyway) the drinks don’t share any ingredients really and their only unifying factor is the classic ratio of strong to sweet to sour, so it’s doubtful this is true.


References for this cocktail will be available soon.

Ingredients & Equipment

Plymouth gin is a brand that is heavily associated with the navy. The gin has been made in the same distillery with the same recipe since 1793. It was great earthy notes with a lemon edge. The simplicity in the botanical range works really well with such a simple drink and helps the ingredients to complement each other perfectly.



  • 50ml Gin
  • 25ml Lime Juice
  • 12.5ml Orgeat
  • Lime Wheel to Garnish


  • Shaker
  • Jigger/Measure
  • Mexican Elbow
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Fine Strainer
  • Martini Glass
  • Cubed Ice


  • Chill your Martini glass in a freezer or fill with ice
  • Take your Boston glass or small tin
  • Using your jigger to measure, add the gin and orgeat to the shaker
  • Using your Mexican elbow and your jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lime juice and add it to the shaker
  • Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal with your Boston tin or lid
  • Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until your tin is very cold
  • Remove your glass from the freezer or empty of ice if necessary
  • Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain the cocktail into your chilled Martini glass
  • Garnish using a lime wheel, with a slit cut into it so it sits on the edge of the glass
  • Serve and enjoy!


For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.

Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.