I love a good, strong Martini or Manhattan as much as the next lush, but there are occasions where such a strong drink may not be the best course of action. Whether you have an early start the next day, a long night ahead, or simply aren’t in the mood for too heavy a dose of alcohol, sometimes a regular cocktail with a good 2-3 oz of strong spirits just isn’t appropriate.
When I find this is the case I often reach for a cocktail based on sherry, a fortified wine that packs plenty of flavour but not so much punch. The Sherry Cobbler is a great way to ease your way in to the evening, and the Bamboo makes for a tasty drink if you fancy something in a cocktail glass. Tonight while mulling over my choice of drink I came across the following in the Café Royal Cocktail Book that bears a strong resemblance to the Bamboo, with one sight twist.
- 1½ shots / 45 ml / 1½ oz Fino sherry
- 1½ shots / 45 ml / 1½ oz dry vermouth
- ½-1 bar-spoon maraschino
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Stir all ingredients with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange zest twist.
The original recipe doesn’t suggest a garnish, but I found an orange zest helps cut through the dryness to present a better balanced drink. Swapping the aromatic bitters for maraschino adds an interesting background layer to the Coronation that contrasts nicely with the vermouth and sherry. The final result is a lovely crisp cocktail, light but with plenty of floral flavour, perfect for when you want something interesting but not too strong.
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