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Vodka both fortifies this complexly spiced honeyed and herbal cocktail.
Drinks historian David Wondrich discovered the earliest known reference to the Gypsy Queen in a 1938 booklet published by New York City's famed The Russian Tea Room. This makes it one of the earliest vodka-cocktails in the USA.
In his seminal 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David Embury says, "The original recipe calls for a proportion of 1 to 2. This, however, is rather sweet. About 5 top 6 parts vodka to 1 of Benedictine makes a much better drink." [The above recipe is 3 to 1.]
Embury's "Gypsy or Gypsy Queen" recipe of 1-part Benedictine and 2 to 6 parts Vodka stipulates "1 dash Orange Bitters to each drink" but Angostura or similar aromatic bitters produce a rounder cocktail.