Adonis Cocktail Sherry Sweet Vermouth Orange Bitters


The ADONIS was created by New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1884 to promote a long-running burlesque show called, well, “Adonis.” says “Adonis” is often credited as the first-ever Broadway musical, which makes this cocktail’s history pretty special. Finally, a cocktail with a pedigree. This is our first encounter with a sherry-based cocktail, however, and we are, admittedly, a little skeptical of it. Will we break out into song? Will we lose all credibility? Do we have any credibility to lose?

2 oz. dry sherry (Lustau 3 En Rama Fino de el Puerto de Santa Maria)
1 oz. sweet vermouth (Dolin)
1-2 dashes orange bitters (Rituals DIY Orange Bitters)

Combine with ice; shake. Strain over ice.

I can’t say we enjoyed this very much at all. Sure, the Adonis is a non-threatening, low-alcohol aperitif but it seems aimless to us. It’s a cocktail with low initiative and few goals. To me it tastes flat and winey and heavy in my mouth somehow. Bubbles. It needs bubbles to defibrillate my palate back to life! This is what it needs, in my opinion, but we are too demoralized to do anything about it.

Eric: “It’s very ambiguous.”
Brian: “This is another nothing drink.”
Eric: “It just lays there in your mouth, like a dead… like a dead… It just lays there.”
Brian: “This is what happens when you combine fortified wine with more fortified wine.”
Eric: “I understand that someone might want to have one of these before dinner, but I’m not sure who that someone is.”

SCORES: Brian 2, Eric 2.

Perhaps someday we will return to the ADONIS on a summer day and its sublime refreshingness will wash over us. Yes, we will meet again, ADONIS.

Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (, an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!