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 COCKTAILS

More Cocktails  

Sherry, Baby 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

I recently leafed through a copy of Mardee Haidin Regan's The Bartender's Best Friend. I met Mardee and her husband Gary a number of times in the beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky, where we both learned a great deal about that state's favourite drink. What interested me in Mardee's guide was the logical way it was laid out, as well as all the cocktails I found in this handy book. I couldn't agree with her more when she said that "Cocktails in many ways reflect the attitude of a nation... and right now cocktail culture is soaring."

Spring and early summer marks the change in appetizers or tapas I serve and one style of cocktail I love to offer my guests has a dry (Fino) sherry base. The making of sherry is very complex and involves the solera system, in which younger wines are gradually introduced in limited quantities into casks containing older wines. In the simplest of explanations, this allows the younger wines to take on the mature attributes of the older sherries faster. All types of sherry are fortified with brandy and run from the Fino, the palest and driest, to medium-style Amontillados to the slightly sweet Olorosos, mouth-filling cream sherries and, of course, the sweetest of them all, Pedro Ximenez. While all sherries are wonderful chilled on their own, for a change you might just enjoy them in some of the cocktails found in Mardee's book.

While sweeter sherries can be drunk at room temperature, my taste preference is to always chill the dry sherries before imbibing. In case you have not used the entire bottle, please refrigerate the balance and you can use it of course in more drinks – or perhaps a dash or two would perk up your cooking.

 
Adonis Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Fino (dry) sherry
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • Dash of orange bitters
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

 
Andalusia

  • 2 oz. Fino (dry) sherry
  • ½ oz. light rum
  • ½ oz. brandy
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

 
Brazil

  • 1 ½ oz. Fino (dry) sherry
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • Dash Pernod
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

 
International Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee whiskey
  • 1 oz. Dry Sack sherry
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist for garnish
  1. Pour the whiskey, sherry and bitters into a shaker two-thirds full of ice cubes.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Flame the orange twist and add to cocktail.

 
Sherry Sangaree

  • 2 oz. Fino (dry) sherry
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
  1. Pour the sherry and simple syrup into a mixing shaker two-thirds full of ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain into a chilled wine goblet.
  4. Grate fresh nutmeg over cocktail.

With special thanks to Publisher John Wiley & Sons. Inc.
The Bartender's Best Friend by Mardee Haidin Regan, $25.99.

 

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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