Cocktail of the month: The Bamboo

Finish off the festive sherry with this classic concoction


A festive raid of the family drinks cabinet has inevitably led us to an old sherry-based favourite this month, and one of the very few classic cocktails that doesn’t have a spirit base. The bamboo is mixed quite differently depending on who is behind the bar and your own personal taste, but is fundamentally a blend of fino sherry, vermouth and bitters.

The story of the Bamboo’s creation are murky; its first mention in print dates back to 1908, where it is credited to German bartender Louis Eppinger, who was then working at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan. However, there is evidence that Eppinger actually created the cocktail (though perhaps gave it a different name) while he was still working in San Francisco, as early as 1886.

In terms of the recipe, we like to keep it simple, classic and dry, though if this is a little unbalanced to your palate, try using equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, or even adding a dash of sugar syrup. Using two different kinds of bitters may seem a bit finickity, but it honestly makes a big difference, so we would urge you not to cut this particular corner.


45ml Martini Extra Dry vermouth

45ml Fino sherry

2 dashes Angostura orange bitters

20 drops Angostura aromatic bitters


Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a wee twist of lemon peel.

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