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What Is the Bamboo Cocktail?
The Bamboo is a sherry cocktail traditionally made with equal parts dry vermouth and dry sherry (such as oloroso or fino sherry), along with a dash of bitters. This mixture of dry fortified wines makes the Bamboo cocktail a wonderful apéritif to stimulate the appetite. Although dry vermouth (aka French vermouth) is the typical type of vermouth used in a Bamboo, some variations call for sweet vermouth or a dash of simple syrup to balance out the dryness of the sherry.
What Are the Origins of the Bamboo Cocktail?
The first known written reference to the Bamboo cocktail was in 1886 in the newspaper Western Kansas World, and it credits a mysterious Englishman with its origins. However, William T. Boothby's 1908 book The World's Drinks and How To Mix Them credits this classic cocktail's creation to German bartender Louis Eppinger of the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan sometime in the early 1890s. As the earlier Englishman’s name remains unknown, Eppinger is now widely accepted as the mixologist who brought the Bamboo to life.
Classic Bamboo Cocktail Recipe
Prep Time5 min
Total Time5 min
- 1½ ounces dry sherry
- 1½ ounces dry vermouth
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- ¼ ounce simple syrup (optional)
- Lemon twist, for garnish
- Fill a mixing glass halfway with shaved ice and pour in sherry, vermouth, bitters, and simple syrup.
- Stir ingredients with a bar spoon for approximately 30 seconds or until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled coupe or another chilled cocktail glass of your choice.
- Express lemon peel oils over the cocktail and garnish with the lemon twist.
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