The Coronation Cocktail No. 1 is a classic drink that appeared in Harry Craddock’s 1930 book, “The Savoy Cocktail Book.” It popped up again in 1935 in A.S. Crockett’s “The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.” But despite its inclusion in two of the world’s most famous cocktail tomes, it has remained relatively obscure throughout the years. This may be due to its chief ingredients being dry vermouth and fino sherry rather than more robust whiskey or gin. Don’t sleep on these flavorful lower-ABV ingredients: Dry vermouths are herbal and floral, while fino sherries are dry and crisp, with nutty notes of almond. Together, they are a perfect pairing in aperitifs like the Coronation No. 1.
Vermouth and sherry can also be found in drinks like the Bamboo, which features equal parts dry vermouth and dry sherry, plus bitters, and the Adonis, which calls for equal parts sweet vermouth and fino sherry. Such cocktails are great before dinner or anytime you want a lighter drink than other stirred classics like the whiskey-based Manhattan.
In this recipe, the vermouth and sherry receive a helping hand from maraschino, a bittersweet liqueur distilled from cherries. A few dashes of orange bitters season the cocktail with zesty citrus notes and a through line of complexity.
Not much is known about the origin of the Coronation Cocktail No. 1, but it’s believed that the drink was created for the 1902 coronation of England’s King Edward VII. There are other Coronation cocktails in existence, including one featuring gin, Dubonnet and dry vermouth, hence this recipe’s numerical differentiator.
- 2 ounces dry vermouth
- 1 ounce fino sherry
- 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
Add the dry vermouth, fino sherry, maraschino liqueur and orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.