Full Windsor Cocktail

International Cravat Day

Your cocktail calendar entry for: October
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October 18 is International Cravat Day, which means we’ll be mixing up the Full Windsor cocktail as Drink of the Day.  We don’t often wear a necktie here in our editorial offices, and we’ve largely forgotten how to tie a Windsor knot, but Cravat Day is a big deal in Croatia.  After all, they invented the cravat, the forerunner of the modern necktie.  Whether you’re a fan of neckties or not, they are among the most ubiquitous of menswear accessories.

How to dress while drinking is entirely up to you, but for International Cravat Day we’re bringing you the Full Windsor cocktail recipe.

The Cravat

The cravat was first used as an item of clothing by Croatian soldiers during the 17th century.  The words “Croat” and “cravat” are in fact linked.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Cravat” first appeared in the 16th century to describe a native of Croatia.  By the middle of the 17th century the word “cravat” referred to the piece of cloth worn around the neck.

The cravat wandered into Western Europe later in the 17th century when Croation mercenaries were employed by an assortment of armies.  The garb evolved from there.  The modern British “cravat”, also known as an “ascot” in American English, is a direct descendant.  Things like the bow tie and necktie as we know it today followed.

In 1990 two Croats, Marijan Bušić and Zlatko Penavić sought to create some medium to present Croatia to the world.  They settled on the necktie as an item of cultural pride and founded the nonprofit Academia Cravatica.   As they said, “the fact that Croats invented the cravat makes us proud to be Croats.”

Things got serious in 2013.  On October 18 they wrapped a giant red necktie around the Roman arena in Pula, Croatia.  Known simply as “A Cravat around the Arena” the beast was 808m long, and 25m wide.  The knot was apparently 15m long.

Cravat Day is a big deal in Croatia, “a day of ceremony and community” according to the Academia Cravatica’s website.  Cravat day is celebrated in various town around the world, presumably including Dublin, Tokyo, Sidney, and so on.  While we don’t expect to see ticker-tape parades breaking out everywhere we think it’s a fine reason to have a drink.  Whether you want to wear a tie or not.

The Full Windsor Cocktail

As anyone who has worn a necktie can tell you, there are several possible knots to use.  The Four in Hand, the Half Windsor, the Full Windsor, the Pratt knot and, of course, the handy clip-on.  Happily, there are cocktails named after more than one of them.

For Cravat Day we selected the Full Windsor cocktail.  The Four in Hand cocktail is appealing but makes use of the ever more precious Chartreuse.  So we put that aside.  The Half Windsor barely qualifies as it barely adds in a bit of vodka.  Hence, we turn to the Full Windsor Recipe.

The Full Windsor cocktail was developed by Erick Castro at Polite Provisions sometime in the 2013-2014 time frame.  The drink reminds us of the Cocktail a la Louisiane and the Vieux Carre, both of which are classic New Orleans drinks.

The Full Windsor cocktail recipe is nearly identical to a Cocktail a la Louisiane in which the base spirit is switched from rye whiskey to a blend of Scotch whisky and Applejack.  That split base brings it close to the Vieux Carre, with the primary difference being the spirits used in the split base.

full windsor cocktail

Full Windsor Cocktail

Similar in concept to the Cocktail a la Louisiane and the Vieux Carre (both New Orleans drinks) the Full Windsor comes to us from Polite Provisions in San Diego. It makes use of a split base of Scotch whisky and Applejack.
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  • 1 oz Scotch Whisky Use a blended Scotch. No single malt required.
  • 1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Benedictine
  • 2 dash Angostura bitters
  • 2 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish Orange twist


  • Add all ingredients to your trusty mixing glass.
  • Add ice and stir to chill.
  • Strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass.
  • Express twist over drink and garnish.
  • Drink.
  • Rinse and repeat.
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