While the Dunhill makes its most famous appearances in Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them (1908) and the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) as the Dunhill’s Special, according to Dave Wondrich, the drink was invented at Hatchett’s Bar in London’s Piccadilly at some point before 1925, when it’s first mentioned in Nina Toye and A. H. Adair’s Drinks—Long and Short.
The drink echoes several classics—the 1:1:1 ratio skews Negroni, while splitting dry vermouth with an oxidized sherry and an olive garnish (or in this case, a blended sherry) seems to wink at the Perfect Martini. What it ends up drinking like is something akin to a mellower take on the former, and while early recipes suggest the drink be served up, when using a sherry like Lustau’s East India, which is almost oily in texture, it’s best to serve it over a big cube, replacing the original olive garnish with a twist of lemon for a little extra cut.
Reprinted with permission from Sherry by Talia Baiocchi, copyright © 2014. Photo by Ed Anderson © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.