Soft Arms

Riesling and fino sherry are a match made in heaven.

Soft Arms Cocktail Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon / Glasses from Mamo

Total Time:
5 mins

I'll admit that Riesling was the main reason I ordered the Soft Arms cocktail at Mister Paradise, a beloved cocktail bar in Manhattan's East Village that I increasingly feel too old to frequent. The obviously comforting name combined with soothing, low-alcohol ingredients like sherry, blanc vermouth — and, of course, my favorite white wine — make for the perfect nightcap, especially on those nights when you've already downed an Espresso Martini, and it's time to pack it in before walking the dog or folding that mountain of laundry. (No? Just me?)

If you're unable to make it to Mister Paradise, an establishment that features fantastic velvet banquette seating, fries, and ambient lighting (three of my favorite bar traits in no particular order), the Soft Arms is a fairly straightforward cocktail to make at home. Be sure to use a bottle of dry Riesling (there's a lot of good value to be found in this category of wine) and a dry vermouth. Fino sherry tends to be lighter in color and drier than other sherries, like Manzanilla and Oloroso, you might encounter on a drinks list, and it adds balanced salinity — dare I say, with a touch of yeastiness — to this cocktail.

The most esoteric ingredient here happens to be Svol Swdish, a dill-infused aquavit that adds a pleasantly herbaceous, almost peppery aroma to the drink. If you don't feel like buying a bottle for this one cocktail, I get it. But aquavit can be an interesting substitute for gin or vodka, and using it in place of either of those spirits in a classic Negroni or even a French 75 is a worthwhile endeavor, if you ask me. — Oset Babür-Winter


  • 3/4 ounce Svol Swedish aquavit

  • 5 dashes yuzu vinegar

  • 2/5 ounce simple syrup

  • 3/4 ounce fino sherry

  • 1 ounce blanc vermouth

  • 1 ounce dry Riesling


  1. Combine sherry, Svol Swedish, fino sherry, Riesling, simple syrup, and blanc vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled, about 15 seconds.

  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

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