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Adonis Cocktail

Adonis Cocktail

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Maryse Chevriere

This cocktail, on the menu at New York City's cocktail bar-restaurant The Beagle, is a favorite of creator Dan Greenbaum. Says the bar manager, "it's dry, sharp, with a nice acidity — a great apéritif and one of those drinks that could work with any food."


  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 ½ ounces fino sherry
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist, for garnish


Stir the bitters, sherry, and sweet vermouth together with ice. To serve, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Scotch Adonis

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.

1 shot Blended/vatted Scotch malt whisky
1 shot Oloroso sherry
1 shot Martini Rosso sweet vermouth
1 dash Orange Bitters by Angostura
1 &frasl2 shot Chilled water (omit if using wet ice)

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  • 2 ounces fino sherry
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters (preferably Regans')
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel.
Editor's Note

On the fino front, we love working with Lustau's La Ina, which has a stronger, more pungent acetaldehyde note than most finos and tends to hold its own against more brooding flavors. On the vermouth side, we prefer the savory complexity of Carpano Antica. For a fruitier riff on the drink, try Dolin or Martini & Rossi.

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The Adonis

We here at Oh So Beautiful Paper tend to showcase some pretty powerful, boozy drinks. Let’s not beat around the bush. But sometimes you want a drink that’s not going to leave you drunk. And that’s ok too. Fortunately, there’s a family of drinks out there that are lighter on booze but not light on flavor. Here’s one of my favorites: the Adonis. – Andrew

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

1 1/2 oz Dry Sherry
1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Combine the sherry and vermouth with ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the bitters. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy! The Adonis is dark and rich, with lots of spicy, herbaceous notes and tangy from its two key ingredients, both fortified wines. It finishes with some bright citrus notes from the twist and bitters Dale DeGroff recommends adding in a muddled orange slice, and I can’t argue with him. It’s big on flavors but has a very mild proof, letting you tip back one or two without risk of drunkenness or hangover.

This is also a really great showcase for the value of the lemon twist as a garnish in a cocktail. Take a sip before you’ve added the twist, and you’ll taste exactly what you have: sherry and vermouth together in a glass. But take a sip after those oils in the lemon peel have worked their magic, and you’ll have a real cocktail on your hands. That lemon peel really helps to bind the ingredients into something greater.

The Adonis dates back to 1884 and honors a Broadway musical of the same name. Adonis the musical, about a statue that comes to life and then finds people so wanting that he returns to stone, was one of the longest running in Broadway history at the time and ran for over six hundred shows. Just so happens it was at the Bijou Theater at 1239 Broadway, which was founded by famed bartender Jerry Thomas, author of the first cocktail guide. Who I’m guessing invented this drink as one of history’s first product tie-ins.

To mix things up, consider a close variation. Keep the sherry but replace the sweet vermouth with dry, add two dashes of aromatic bitters to the orange bitters, and you have the Bamboo cocktail, invented in the 1890s by Louis Eppinger in Yokohama, Japan, of all places.

Technique Tip : When I say “lemon twist,” I basically mean a thin piece of lemon peel twisted over the drink to express its fragrant essential oils. Take a paring knife or vegetable peeler and remove a broad but very thin piece of lemon peel, avoiding the bitter white pith directly under the peel. Twist or bend it over the drink to release the oils, then rub it along the rim of your glass. Some people then discard their twist, but I like to throw it into the drink to continue releasing flavor. You should be able to see a spray of oil drops on the top of your drink if the light catches it just right. Fresh lemons are best older lemons will dry out and you won’t get crisp snap of oils bursting onto your cocktail.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Letterpress print by Ink Meets Paper


Eryn Reece, head bartender of New York’s Death & Co., also discovered lost gold in the pages of the Savoy. The cocktail she’d like to see ordered by more patrons is an herbaceous, yet elegant blend of gin, Calvados, sweet vermouth, and Chartreuse.

“One that I think is awesome and doesn’t get any love is the Warday’s cocktail,” she said. “It’s delicious and offers a nice transition from late summer to fall. I really love the blend of the botanicals from the gin and the elegant blend of citrus and apple from the Calvados.” Reece put her money where her mouth is the drink currently enjoys a place on the Death & Co. menu. (She makes it with yellow Chartreuse, rather than the traditional green, and ups the quotient of gin and Calvados.)

Recipe: Warday’s Cocktail
1 ounce Beefeater gin
1 ounce Busnel Calvados
¾ ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
¼ ounce Yellow Chartreuse

Stir over ice, strain into a cocktail coupe. Express a lemon peel over the drink, then discard.

The Sherry Cobbler

Let’s kick things off with the oldest of this trio. The cobbler was the king of cocktails in the mid-19th century America. And sherry was its most common base. A cobbler is fortified wine shaken with sugar and citrus, strained over ice, and garnished with fruit. It’s got a lot in common with the sangaree, an even older drink and the grandmother of modern-day sangria. It’s icy-cold, pleasantly winey, and a little fruity-sweet—just the thing for a hot day.

Straws came into use because of the cobbler and other ice-cold drinks of its day. Not only did the straw make drinking more convenient but it also protected those with sensitive teeth (nearly everyone) at a time when dentistry was not especially advanced or widespread. Before ice became commonplace drinks were served room temperature or hot.

How to make it: put 3 orange slices and ½ oz simple syrup into your cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Pour in 3½ oz. of sherry and fill with ice. Seal shaker and shake hard for 12 seconds. Strain into a Collins or highball glass over fresh ice (crushed, if you have it!) and garnish with an orange or lemon slice and some berries, currants, or any fruit that looks pleasing. Serve it with a—compostable or reusable–straw!

21 Obscure Cocktails

We’ve all heard of a Tequila Sunrise or a Screwdriver, but what about some of the more creative and obscure cocktails out there? Next time you have a party, impress your friends by making one of these lesser known, obscure cocktails.

1. A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea –It’s not often that you find a cocktail with an 11 word name! This creation by Paul McGee from Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago contains Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Old Port Deluze Matured Rum, Pineapple juice, Lime juice, Demerara Syrup and La Colombe Pure Black Cold Press Coffee.

2. The Bone– This rough and ready cocktail includes Wild Turkey rye or bourbon, fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, Tabasco sauce in a chilled tall shot glass.

3. The Horsefeather –A simple highball drink that is made with rye whiskey, ginger beer, bitters and lemon juice and has a bold, spicy flavour.

4. Aviation Cocktail –When you combine Plymouth gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice and Luxardo maraschino liqueur you will have this refreshing cocktail that really highlights the taste of the gin.

5. Basil Fawlty– Served at Oskar’s Bar in London, this extremely British drink includes elderflower, meadowsweet, basil, lemon, apple and Beefeater gin.

6. The Vancouver –Named after the Western Canadian metropolis, this drink was created at Vancouver’s famous Sylvia Hotel in the 1950s. It consists of gin, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, orange bitters and a lemon peel garnish.

7. Death in the Afternoon –Ernest Hemingway invented this cocktail, which consists of a jigger of absinthe poured into a champagne glass.

8. The Bend Over Shirley– This is similar to a Shirley Temple – but all grown up. Mix together raspberry vodka and cubed ice then add Sprite and grenadine and garnish with cherries.

9. Brazilian Breakfast– This tropical inspired cocktail served at London’s Purple Bar is made with fresh pinapple juice, Homemade Barcardi Gold buttered rum, Pimento dram, fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup and a dash of orange water.

10. The Forgotten Tonic– You won’t forget the refreshing and yummy taste of this drink, containing Kummel Wolfschidmt liqueur, Bols Genever, Bob’s cardamom bitters, Fever-free tonic water, orange zest and ice cubes.

11. Peanut Butter and Jelly –The classic American sandwich is transformed into an alcoholic drink. It contains Flor de Cana 7 year rum, Lustau Palo Cortado Vides sherry, Strawberry jam, Peanut syrup and an egg white, with a banana for a garnish.

12. Chocolate Martini –Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Try the chocolate martini served at Pantages Hotel in Toronto, which consists of Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe and Amarula.

13. Adonis– Sherry cocktails are coming back into vogue, so try this mix of sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters, garnished with a twist of lemon.

14. The Bold Bruschetta –A drink that’s almost an appetizer, containing vodka, olive juice, a basil leaf, three cherry tomatoes, a slice of garlic, a lemon wedge, salt and black pepper.

15. Income Tax –No one really knows where and when this cocktail originated, but it’s perfect for soothing the headaches that come with dealing with your finances. It’s a mixture of gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, freshly squeezed orange juice and Angostura bitters topped with an orange wheel.

16. Aphrodite Kiss- This yummy cocktail was created by Forty Four Bar at Royalton in New York. Its sweet taste consists of passion fruit, pineapple, maraschino, Galliano, Absolut Elyx vodka, lemon juice and a dash of Aphrodite bitters – served with a nutmeg garnish.

17. Burnt Fuselage –This one was popular in 1920s Paris. Add VSOP-grade cognac, Grand Marnier, French white vermouth and stir with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add lemon peel.

18. Red Velvet Shortcake –For those nights when you want to drink your dessert, try this cocktail. Muddle some strawberries in a shaker and then add lemon juice and Red Velvet ZING Vodka. Shake and strain into a glass with ice and top with cream soda.

19. Fountain of Youth –Feel young again for a night as you bring this fruity martini made from Russian Standard Vodka, pomegranate juice and thinly sliced ginger.

20. Fish House Punch –This strangely named cocktail originated in a fishing club in Philadelphia and is made with peach brandy, cognac and rum, searched in a punch bowl with lemon slices.

21. Blood and Sand -This sweet and heavy drink is perfect for sipping in the winter, as it contains orange juice, Glenlivet scotch, cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth.

Have these obscure cocktails made you thirsty? See TRULY’s cocktails experiences.

Behind The Bar - How To Mix An Adonis Cocktail

The bartender who created the Adonis cocktail is lost to history, but the drink was said to have been on the menu at the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar, home to the above mentioned Rob Roy. Scottish kilt, no tights.

Adonis Cocktail Drink Recipe:

  • 2 oz&enspdry sherry
  • 1 oz&enspsweet vermouth
  • 1&thinsp-&thinsp2 dashes&ensporange bitters
  • orange peel garnish

Measure the drink ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Optionally garnish with an orange peel.

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6 Classic Vermouth Cocktails That Deserve Your Respect

Vermouth may be having a renaissance moment in the modern craft cocktail scene, but don’t call it a comeback: it’s been here for years. (Decades, really.) The fortified wine we know and love has been an integral component in some of the most fundamental recipes of the cocktail canon — many of which were resurrected to even greater heights by intrepid bartenders in the decades following Prohibition.

And, after more than 250 years in the business, Cinzano has been around for all of it, from the day the Negroni made its debut in Florence to the first Manhattan slung on Broadway. So, we asked our friends at the storied Italian vermouth brand to help us put some of these classics on their proper pedestals. Below, just a small handful of the vermouth cocktails that paved the way:

1. The Negroni

Sometimes a bartender creates a drink, and sometimes a customer does. In this case, the Negroni was created at Bar Casoni in Florence sometime in the early 1920s when Count Camillo Negroni ordered an Americano — sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda — with gin in place of soda. It’s also worth noting that Count Camillo Negroni loved the American “wild west” to the point that he was often seen in full cowboy regalia.

Add ice and ingredients to glass and stir until chilled. Garnish with an orange peel.

2. The Martini

Asking about the origin of the Martini may result in a very long and confusing string of explanations. It’s hard to say that the Martini was ever really “created.” Rather, this most iconic of cocktails evolved between 1882 and 1910, surviving a dozen variations on its name and ingredients, with the only binding factor being the presence of Gin and Vermouth.

Add ice and ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a twist or olives.

3. The Adonis

This cocktail was named after the 1884 Broadway show by William Gill called “Adonis,” often cited as the first Broadway musical. While the show was in production, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel created this cocktail in its honor.

Add ice and ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a 1″ strip orange peel over cocktail drop peel into glass.

4. The Manhattan

There are a handful of legends around its origin, but we defer to Gary Regan’s choice based on 1880s bartender William F. Mulhall’s account: “The Manhattan cocktail was invented by a man named Black, who kept a place ten doors below Houston Street on Broadway in the [eighteen-] sixties—probably the most famous drink in the world in its time.”

  • 1 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
  • 2 ounces Rye Whiskey
  • 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Add ice and ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with twist or a maraschino cherry.

5. Americano Cocktail

Created by Gaspare Campari at Caffè Campari in the 1860s

Build directly in a highball glass on the rocks. Top with soda. Garnish with with an orange slice.

6. The Bronx Cocktail

Created by Johnny Solon in 1906 at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and named after the newly opened Bronx Zoo. It ranked third in “The World’s 10 Most Famous Cocktails in 1934,” rivaled only by the Martini and the Manhattan.

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice

Add ice and ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange peel or enjoy without a garnish.