Is it Friday yet?? Please, pretty please??? Yeah, it’s been that “kind of” week – all good but one of those where I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants. One of those weeks when all I want is a quiet hour (or two!) to sit back and … sip a cocktail.
And given said week, it needs to be a simple cocktail – no long list of ingredients, no syrups, infusions, fresh juices or anything else – my brain just can’t handle it.
Fortunately, there are many drinks that fit the bill – a gin and tonic, a martini and of course, a manhattan.
Ummm…. did I mention it has been “that kind” of week?? Yeah, so a manhattan or a martini?? Well, that would pretty much put an end to a “conscious” quiet hour or two.
So what I really want is an Adonis. Ok, not that Adonis – although hanging out with the greek god of beauty and desire might be just the ticket for this week.. but I digress….
No, I am talking about the Adonis cocktail. A very old, but very good simple cocktail. How old? Well, according to various sources, the Adonis was named for an 1884 musical (referred to as a “burlesque nightmere” at the time). The musical was quite popular – evidently, the ladies were quite taken with the legs of Henry Dixey – the lead actor.
And while those legs may had something to do with the popularity of the Adonis at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, I have to think it was the taste and balance of this drink that’s responsible for the Adonis’s popularity.
To my tastes, the Adonis is a little like a Manhattan – with training wheels. Combining two basic ingredients – sherry and sweet vermouth – the nuttiness of the sherry is a perfect foil for the vermouth – proving once again that old adage “the sum is greater than it’s parts”. I used an Amontillado sherry since that is what I had on hand and experimented with a variety of vermouths – and settled on the Carpano Antica – the Dolin was a little thin in my opinion – although I generally like dryer cocktails I thought the Carpano provided a bit more depth – you may need to experiment with a couple of different vermouths to find the combination that you like.
While I may not be able to truly appreciate the loveliness of Dixey’s legs, I definitely can appreciate the Adonis – a truly beautiful cocktail.
- 1.5 oz. Amontillado sherry
- 1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth
- Orange peel (optional)
- Add the sherry and the vermouth to a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir for 30 -45 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If using an orange peel, after pouring the cocktail into a chilled glass, twist the orange peel over the glass and drop in.