Ranking The Top 5 Classic Sherry Cocktail Recipes

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Anyone who spends a significant amount of time in the kitchen has probably encountered sherry, a fortified wine that traditionally comes from Andalusia, Spain. Many recipes call for cooking sherry—but did you know that you can drink it, too? Not just nip at it, but turn it into mixed drinks as well. There’s a whole library of forgotten cocktail recipes from the beverage’s heyday; here are the five best that have survived the test of time.

#5: The Dunhill

This Dunhill is a spiritual sherry successor to cocktails like the Negroni and the martini. The original recipe indicates that the drink should be served up (shaken or stirred with ice and then strained into a glass) and garnished with an olive, but due to the consistency of the recommended sherry, you may want to serve it over a large ice cube with a lemon garnish. Ingredients
  • 1 barspoon absinthe
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Lustau East India Solera Sherry
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • ¼ oz. curaçao
  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice, add the absinthe, and let sit.
  2. Add the sherry, vermouth, gin and curaçao in another glass, fill it with ice, and stir.
  3. Empty the rocks glass, making sure the absinthe coats the inside.
  4. Strain into the rocks glass and garnish.
Don’t cheap out on the gin, or you’ll be sorry.

#4: The Artist’s Special

The appropriately named Artist’s Special hails from the Artists’ Club, depicted as Freddie’s in Henry Miller’s short story “Burlesque.” This bar was an oasis of Lost Generation culture in 1920s Paris’s Quartier Pigalle, and its signature sherry cocktail was garnished with jazz music when drunk by the likes of Pablo Picasso. Ingredients
  • 1 oz. oloroso
  • 1 oz. whiskey
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. redcurrant syrup
  1. Add all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and mix.
  2. Strain into a glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Mix up one of these avant-garde treats, and you’ll drink like a bohemian.

#3: The Adonis

While Olympian goddesses might find it equally alluring, this cocktail wasn’t named after the mythical figure. Rather, it was named after the eponymous character of an 1884 burlesque musical. While Adonis was enjoying a run of 603 consecutive performances on Broadway, the Waldorf Astoria named this drink in its honor. Ingredients
  • 1 ½ oz. oloroso
  • 1 ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  1. Add all ingredients and ice in a mixing glass.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel.
While the musical eventually left the stage, the drink is still on the menu, and it remains one of the most legendary of sherry cocktails.

#2: The Bamboo

The Bamboo is named after that plant so characteristic and evocative of Japan, which is this drink’s country of origin. Concocted in the 1890s by German bartender Louis Eppinger, the cocktail’s popularity grew as quickly as its namesake, becoming a regular menu item in America by 1901. Ingredients
  • 1 ½ oz. dry sherry
  • 1 ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 – 2 dash(es) Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
It’s a Japanese import that’s way cooler than transistor radios, proven by the drink’s staying power (and the fact that no one owns a transistor radio anymore).

#1: The Sherry Cobbler

Probably created sometime in the early nineteenth century, dated as far back as 1838, and made famous by none other than Charles Dickens, the Sherry Cobbler was notable in its time for being sipped through a straw. Despite its publicist’s nation of origin, this cocktail is considered an all-American classic that ranks alongside the horseless carriage and the electric light bulb. Ingredients
  • 4 oz. dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 – 3 orange slices
  1. In a mixing glass, muddle the sugar and orange slices.
  2. Add sherry and ice, then shake.
  3. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with berries, mint and a straw.
Don’t feel too bad if you decide to abandon the straw. Sherry cocktails have a long and colorful history, but it’s far from over. The next time you have company over for drinks, remember these quick and unusual recipes. You’ll even have a few interesting anecdotes to throw into the mix.