Quarter Deck Cocktail Recipe

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Quarter Deck Nutrition Facts


Fat:0 g

Protein:0 g

Carbohydrates:10 g


Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Quarter Deck cocktail is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early 20th century. It was named after the raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship, where officers would gather to relax and enjoy a drink. This cocktail is popular among those who appreciate a well-balanced, refreshing drink with a hint of sophistication.

  • Origin: Early 20th century
  • Associated with sailing and maritime culture
  • Popular among officers and those who enjoy a refined, balanced cocktail

How Quarter Deck Tastes?

The Quarter Deck cocktail offers a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. The sherry adds a rich, nutty undertone, while the lime juice provides a refreshing citrus tang. The overall taste is smooth, well-rounded, and satisfying.

Interesting facts about Quarter Deck

  • The name 'Quarter Deck' is derived from the raised deck on a sailing ship
  • This cocktail is often associated with maritime culture and history
  • The combination of sherry and lime juice creates a unique, well-balanced flavor profile



The backbone of our Quarter Deck, Sherry (2 oz) gives the cocktail its warm, nutty base. Too little and the drink lacks depth, too much and you might as well call it a Sherry on the rocks! Alternatives? Try swapping for a dry vermouth for a less nutty, more herbal profile.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

The zesty punch of fresh lime juice (0.5 oz) adds the necessary acidity to balance out the sweetness of the syrup and the richness of the Sherry. Omit this? Prepare for a cloying concoction. Another citrus like lemon could work but expect a sharper, less tropical edge.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Just enough (0.5 oz) to sweeten the deal without stealing the show. Too much syrup and you're sipping sugar water; too little and the drink's as sour as a lime luchador. A honey syrup could be a nice twist, bringing a floral sweetness to the party.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Two dashes of Angostura bitters bring complexity and a hint of spice. Bitters are like the salt and pepper of the cocktail world, and without them, our Quarter Deck would be a tad too bland. No Angostura at hand? Other aromatic bitters could play the part, albeit with a slightly different spice palette.

Emma Rose

Orange Twist

Our citrusy ribbon of charm (1 twist)! It's not just about looks; the orange oils released upon twisting add a fragrant nose to our beverage ballet. Without it? The drink loses a layer of sophistication. Grapefruit could be substituted for a bolder, more bitter zest.

Alex Green


Let's not forget the cherry on top! One maraschino cherry adds both color and a wink of sweetness that ties together the drinking experience. No cherry? A lemon twist could give a different kind of bright finish to the entire cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Quarter Deck Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add 2 oz of sherry
  3. Add 0.5 oz of lime juice
  4. Add 0.5 oz of simple syrup
  5. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  6. Stir the mixture until well chilled
  7. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass
  8. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Sherry: Use a high-quality sherry for a richer flavor.
  • Chilling: Ensure the mixture is well chilled before straining for a smoother taste.
  • Garnish: An orange twist and maraschino cherry not only add to the presentation but also enhance the flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plates: The nuttiness of hard cheeses works well with the rich Sherry.
  • Seafood tapas: Think shrimp or calamari, the lime juice in the cocktail will complement these flavors beautifully.

Main Courses

  • Grilled chicken or fish: The light and refreshing nature of the Quarter Deck makes it a great companion for simple, grilled dishes.
  • Paella: This Spanish rice dish with its complex flavors would be enhanced by the cocktail's citrus and bitters.


  • Almond biscotti: The nutty flavors will echo the sherry's characteristics.
  • Lemon tarts: To match the citrus notes and the sweetness from the simple syrup in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Quarter Deck

  • Sherry: Can be replaced with a dry white wine.
  • Simple Syrup: Honey or agave nectar can be used as a natural sweetener.
  • Angostura Bitters: Other types of bitters can be used for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with Q here

And of course - twists🍹

Quarter Deck Royale

  • Add a splash of champagne on top for a fizzy, celebratory twist.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist instead of orange for an extra zesty note.

The effervescence of the champagne will make the Quarter Deck Royal a more lively and celebratory concoction, perfect for special occasions or as a refreshing aperitif.

Smoked Quarter Deck

  • Use a smoky sherry like a Manzanilla or an Amontillado.
  • Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and burn it for a smoky aroma before serving.

This variation introduces a smoky profile to the Quarter Deck, complementing the nutty sherry and adding an aromatic layer that's great for those who enjoy a touch of smokiness in their drinks.

Spiced Quarter Deck

  • Infuse the simple syrup with cinnamon and star anise.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

By introducing warm spices to the simple syrup, this twist on the Quarter Deck brings a wintery feel to the cocktail. Cinnamon and star anise would offer a spicy warmth perfect for cooler weather, adding depth to the sherry's nuttiness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Quarter Deck

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Quarter Deck

What type of sherry is best to use for the Quarter Deck cocktail?

A dry or medium-dry sherry is usually recommended for making a Quarter Deck cocktail. For instance, a Fino or Manzanilla would work well.

Is there a particular type of glass that should be used for serving the Quarter Deck cocktail?

The Quarter Deck cocktail is usually served in a chilled coupe glass, which helps to keep the drink cool and enhances the presentation.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Quarter Deck cocktail?

Yes, you can replace the sherry with a non-alcoholic white grape juice. Remember to adjust the amount of sweetener according to your taste.

How do I properly measure a 'dash' of Angostura bitters?

A 'dash' is a subjective measurement, but it typically equates to about 1/8 of a teaspoon. You can also use a dasher bottle, which measures out approximately one dash per shake.

I don't have a cocktail shaker. Is there an alternative method I can use to mix the drink?

Yes, if you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can also stir the ingredients together in a glass. Just make sure to stir thoroughly to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.

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