Every once in a while, you need a classically classical drink. I’m not talking some bathtub gin concoction here — I mean an actual, proper cocktail from the days when cocktails were in their infancy and people were just learning about mixing together spirits. Sure, it was a less sophisticated and slightly rougher time, but never say I’ve let the truth get in the way of a good story. When you’re reaching for a classic, reach for something a little different, something a little interesting, something that will add a little pep in your step, reach for an Adonis.

tio pepe sherry

I know, it seems like we might have been on a bit of a Greek kick lately, what with the Lemon Ouzon Spritz and now the Adonis, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Seriously, someone go get me a gyro (I haven’t had a good one in ages) and some baklava. You bring the food, I’ll bring the Adonis.

Deal? Deal.

Now, let’s get a little bit into this cocktail. Rumor has it, that whoever created it (lost to the ravages of time), when he or she created it in the 1880s, created it to celebrate the musical Adonis that had become the longest running show on Broadway.

Very exciting stuff.

pour vermouthmix

In my imagination, which runs rampant, the creator, who created all drinks equal (see what I did there?), so named this cocktail Adonis because of its golden hued nature. It’s simply beautiful; you can’t take your eyes off it. That makes for a more pleasing story.

As with many of these classic cocktails, the Adonis has limited ingredients — so don’t skimp on either.

Our friends over at Tio Pepe send us some of their sherry, which we knew would go nicely in this cocktail.

The only other ingredients in here? Sweet vermouth and a couple of dashes of orange bitters.

Easy and simple, yet pleasingly complex and dangerously sexy (I can’t officially confirm that last one, but it works with the whole Adonis thing).

Now, let’s get our Greek non-tragedy going with the Adonis!

pour cocktailgarnish

Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1½ oz. sherry
  • 1½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Orange twist, peel, slice, fancy knot.
  • Glass type: cocktail (that's martini; a wine glass works too, obviously)
  1. First, you add your sherry to your cocktail stirring glass (or shaker, whichever, just no shaky).
  2. Second, you add your sweet vermouth.
  3. Third, you add your dashes of orange bitters.
  4. Fourth, you add your ice.
  5. Fifth, you stir (no shaky).
  6. Sixth, you pour into your glass.
  7. Seventh, you garnish with your orange choice from the ingredients.
  8. Eighth, you enjoy.
  9. Ninth, you admire that I used all the numbers.
  10. Tenth, you enjoy some more.
  11. Eleventh, because I just wanted it to go to 11.