People today drink less or no alcohol at all for a variety of reasons. Be it personal and professional reasons: The drinking culture is undoubtedly changing. People nowadays drink as consciously as they eat. More awareness of nutrition and the environment makes people critically question their consumption.
This, in turn, is a stark contrast to the late 80s and 90s with their penchant for neon-coloured cocktails and ingredients that made the drink glow unnaturally.
In my research for a classic Low-ABV cocktail, I kept coming across one cocktail: the Adonis Cocktail. The Adonis Cocktail is an aperitif cocktail that is somewhat overshadowed by the better-known Bamboo Cocktail. But the Adonis is a cocktail that is a wonderful way to get to grips with the theme of sherry.
There are cocktails that you order because of their name or read the ingredients more carefully. Adonis Cocktails is a little different. It's a smart name that arouses interest, a drink for self-lovers and ironists alike.
From Broadway to the Cocktail Books
First, let's look at the history of the Adonis. The name of the Adonis Cocktail probably comes from a Broadway play of the same name, which was performed between 1884 and 1886. A written reference can be traced back to 1887.
The recipe, however, is found much later in Jacques Straub's "A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks" from 1913, where it is made with ⅓ sherry and ⅔ Italian vermouth and two drops of orange bitters. One page further on, you will find the - possibly better known - Bamboo with ⅔ Dry Sherry and ⅓ Italian Vermouth and one drop of Orange Bitters.
Digestif or aperitif? The Vermouth decides!
The Bamboo goes down in the history books with dry French Vermouth and moved onto the Digéstif menu, while the Adonis was on the aperitif menu with sweet Italian Vermouth.
Today, both are clear sherry cocktails. Recipes such as those by Jacques Straub are thus symbolic of the fact that at the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, a combination of sherry and vermouth was a fashionable matter of course and accordingly many cocktails were created with it.
There are several names for drinks made up of sherry, vermouth and bitters, such as the Marine Cocktail, which is mentioned in a newspaper from 1889, or the Amour Cocktail.
Choice of sherry is crucial
Ideally, choose a strong, not completely dry sherry, such as an Amontillado, Palo Cortado or Oloroso. These varieties - in contrast to the more delicate, very dry varieties Manzanilla or Fino - are produced under the influence of oxidation and develop more pronounced nutty notes, which are better able to assert themselves against the herbaceous notes of the Vermouth.
In an Adonis cocktail, the aromatic density of sherry immediately comes into its own. There are recipes that call for a 1:1 ratio of sherry and vermouth. But I think a 2:1 ratio of sherry to vermouth is a modern recipe - after all, people like to call an Adonis a "Sherry Manhattan".
Further, the Adonis cocktail - a two-ingredient drink - invites experimentation at this point. A vermouth with a strong bitter note adds a different dimension to an Adonis, but can be balanced out by a more mellow sherry.
The Adonis is definitely a drink that calls for bitters. These provide the decisive, playful lightness. The orange bitters provided in the original give the drink a perfect, floral freshness.
Stay healthy and have fun remixing an Adonis.
|3 cl||Red Vermouth|
|2 Dashes||Dashes Orange Bitter|
|5 cl||Sweet Sherry|
|3 cl||Aecron Aromatic infused with Büttners Red Gristle Cherry, Bergamot Skin|
|2||Spray Summer Orange Bitter The Seventh Sense|
|5 cl||Sherry Sous Vide with toasted Fruitbread|
|3 cl||Riesling Vermouth infused with green Bananaskin|
|2||Spray Morning Dew Bitter The Seventh Sense|