Adonis – Classic Recipe & History

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Adonis / Bamboo

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



Learn how to make a classic Adonis/Bamboo cocktails


  • 2 dashes 2 Orange Bitters

  • 1.5 oz 1.5 Sherry

  • 1.5 oz 1.5 Sweet Vermouth


  • Technique: Simple Stir
  • Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Add ice to the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds. Try to avoid over-diluting the drink.
  • Strain into a glass.

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History Of The Adonis Cocktail

The oldest printed recipe for the Adonis comes from the 1916 book “Jack’s Manual” by Jack Grohusko. The Adonis recipe in this book is 40% Sherry, 60% sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of orange bitters. Though this recipe is older, a more authoritative source is the 1935 old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book by Albert Crockett. Crockett lists the recipe as 50×50 Sherry and sweet vermouth with orange bitters and states:

Named in honor of a theatrical offering which first made Henry E Dixey and Fanny Ward famous.

The play the author is talking about is an 1884 burlesque musical called “Adonis.” Written by, directed by, and starring Henry E. Dixey, Adonis was a famous play during its time. Interestingly, the bamboo recipe in Jack’s Manual and the Waldorf-Astoria is almost identical to the adonis. In the Waldorf-Astoria, is it the same drink. No difference at all.

The Adonis vs. The Bamboo Cocktail

The Adonis and Bamboo are the same drink with different names. In the 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, both recipes are the same. No difference at all. The same recipe copy pasted, which is fine. Just keep in mind they are the same. Some books will distinguish between the two by making the Adonis 2/3 sweet vermouth and 1/3 sherry and the Bamboo 50×50 sherry and sweet vermouth. But the Waldorf-Astoria listed them as the same drink with different names, and the Waldorf-Astoria was a very authoritative source of pre-prohibition recipes.

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