9-Bottle Bar Recipe: The XYZ Cocktail

updated May 2, 2019
The XYZ Cocktail
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

We’re closing out the 9-Bottle Bar’s month-long look at rum with the recipe for a drink aptly named for the occasion.

The alphabet-ending XYZ Cocktail appeared in the famous Savoy Cocktail Book, by bartender Harry Craddock, first published in 1930. Another drink, a riff on the Perfect Martini, was also known by the same name around the same time — but here we’re interested Craddock’s concoction, which resembles the Sidecar in construction except that rum stands in for cognac.

The XYZ Cocktail is a great formula — simply rum, orange liqueur, and lemon juice — for experimenting with how different rum varieties can influence a drink’s flavor profile. There are only three ingredients, so it’s easy for the notes of the rum — anything from dry and crisp to funky to aged and robust might work well — to shine through in the final product. If you have a few rums on hand, try making the XYZ Cocktail with all of them to find your preference.

(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

The XYZ Cocktail

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 ounces


  • 3/4 ounce

    orange liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce

    lemon juice


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a Boston shaker or cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass.