How To Make A Bamboo
While increasingly common in modern cocktails, sherry isn’t typically deployed as the base “spirit” in mixed drinks. But that’s the case in the Bamboo, a lower-ABV stirred concoction that sees the fortified wine mixed with vermouth and bitters.
The exact origins of the cocktail are debated, but the recipe first made the rounds during the late 1800s. Some say the drink was developed by San Francisco bartender Louis Eppinger, who was recruited to work in Japan and first mixed up the drink while overseas. Others believe he first served the Bamboo while still working in the San Francisco.
In his 2007 book, “Imbibe!”, David Wondrich notes that the cocktail spread nationwide after appearing in a Saint Paul, Minn., newspaper as early as 1886.
While traditionally created with dry fino sherry, some bartenders prefer to use a richer, more complex style of the fortified wine, such as amontillado or oloroso. Similarly, while the original recipe calls for dry vermouth, splitting this component to include both dry and slightly sweeter blanc vermouth brings added layers of nuance.
A lemon twist garnish adds a bright citrus aroma to the drink. Ideally, fridge-cold liquid ingredients should be stirred slightly less than spirit-base cocktails to avoid over-diluting, then poured into a chilled coupe glass.
While this little-known drink hasn’t enjoyed widespread recognition in the past, it’s slowly gaining traction among cocktail aficionados. Keep reading to learn how to stir up one of your own.