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Leap Year Cocktail // A 1930s Recipe for a 1920s Cocktail

The history and heritage of the Leap Year cocktail is mentioned in The Savoy Cocktail Book (published 1930) which states that "this Cocktail was created by Harry Craddock, for the Leap Year celebrations at the Savoy Hotel, London, on February 29th, 1928. It is said to have been responsible for more proposals than any other cocktail that has ever been mixed."
This particular version of the cocktail was found in our 5th book (published 1936) which includes a variety of exciting cocktail recipes.
Original Recipe: 'Leap Year' (Book 5, 1936)
Speed: 5 mins. | Serves: 1


  • 80 ml Gin

  • 20 ml Grand Marnier

  • 20 ml Italian Vermouth

  • Dash of lemon juice

  • Lemon peel on top



1. Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with sufficient ice (around a cup's worth), secure and shake for a minute or so.

2. Pour into a glass once the mixture is properly iced.

3. Add a cocktail stick with a maraschino cherry stuck through and lemon peel on top.

4. Serve at once.


Note: Sticking to brands that were available in the 1920s and 1930s, we used the following:

Grand Marnier (1880)

Martini Rosso (1863)

Gordon's Gin (1769)

Cocktail cherries by Bennett Opie Ltd. 'Opies', (1880)


Original Recipe for 'Leap Year'

'BOOK 5': Cookery Illustrated and Household Management (1936)

By: Elizabeth Craig

Publisher: Odhams Press Limited (Long Acre, London, W.C.2, England, U.K.)

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