A version of this classic cocktail can be found in most early-20th-century guides. In fact, numerous cocktails made of sherry, vermouth and bitters take on different names due to ever-so-slight variations.
For instance, if you use more sherry than vermouth and less of the orange bitters, you have created an Adonis. If you use Angostura bitters instead of orange bitters, it's a Bamboo. If you substitute dry vermouth for sweet vermouth, it's an East Indian.
Other variations on the Duke of Marlborough include adding lime juice and raspberry syrup.
- 2 ounces Amontillado sherry, such as Lustau brand
- 2 ounces sweet vermouth, preferably Cinzano brand
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- Twist of orange peel, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full with ice. Add the sherry, vermouth and bitters; stir vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Squeeze a twist of orange peel over the drink (to release its natural oils), then drop it in.
From the Apothecary in Philadelphia.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.