Cocktails and football — they don't really mix. Particularly the Super Bowl, in which the game is strung out to ridiculous lengths by Doritos and Budweiser commercials (though at least GoDaddy is bowing out this year) and whatever nip-slip/Left Shark-type controversy gets generated by the halftime show. There's a reason people don't knock back Manhattans while they watch football: Your liver can't (or shouldn't) stand up to that kind of punishment. If you're not drinking beer, you need a nice long cocktail that's easy on the spirits.
So, poking through the classic cocktail archives for something low-ABV, I ran across the Adonis. On this weekend when almost everybody pays attention to the fleet-footed men of NFL, a drink named after the archetype of male beauty seemed appropriate. The Adonis is a simple recipe from the late 1800s – just sherry and sweet vermouth with a dash of orange bitters. It doesn't sound too manly, with those old-lady ingredients and that old-fashioned name, but this drink is brawny. (Just like football players and Adonis himself.)
Confession: On my first go tasting it as mixed to the classic recipe, I didn't like it. I mixed a few more and got a feel for it, but it's still not my favorite. I'd much rather drink my Remix, which adjusts the sherry-to-vermouth ratio, adds another layer with a bit of Cocchi, and lengthens the whole thing with bitter lemon. It's much tastier, and it's much easier to drink a few of these than the all-alcohol version. Go Panthers!
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir with a chilled bar spoon for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.
Put sherry, vermouth and Cocchi into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice and top up with bitter lemon. Add three dashes of blood orange bitters and serve with a straw.
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