Cocktail lexicon

Adonis | Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces fino sherry
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: orange peel

This is how the Adonis cocktail is prepared:

Pour the fino sherry and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until well chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with an orange peel.

Did you know:

Not every cocktail has to be an elaborate affair using multiple spirits and homemade ingredients. And it doesn't always have to be spirits that have a hefty alcohol content either. Sometimes it's good to have an easy-to-drink cocktail with two ingredients and little alcohol, like the Adonis cocktail. This pleasant drink is made with only sweet vermouth and fino sherry, but it's still a nuanced and complex concoction.

The Adonis was first made in the mid-1880s at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, like many other classic drinks. Its invention was in honor of the Broadway musical of the same name: Adonis was the first show to make it to 500 performances, making it the longest-running Broadway musical at the time. The namesake cocktail is as lovely as the titular character and is perfect for attending a musical or other performance, as it's not too cloudy to enjoy the show.

In reality, the Adonis is an opportunity to try your favorite fino sherry and sweet vermouth - and find out which two go best together. There are plenty of new and old vermouth drinks on the market today, from closely guarded historical recipes to hip new styles from around the world. Sherry is still relatively limited to Spanish winemakers, but there is a wide variety here as well. Fino is a very dry, very light version of the fortified wine. It can also be substituted for a Manzanilla sherry, as the two styles are similar.

The Adonis is sometimes made with a few dashes of orange bitters, which you can feel free to add if the drink needs more depth. If you keep the bitters and swap the sweet vermouth for dry, you come very close to a Bamboo cocktail, another low-proof drink from the late 19th century.