We’re back for a second round of Recipe Roundtable! In case you missed week 1, we explored the world of stirred cocktails. This week we explore the world of Amontillado Sherry.
Amontillado Sherry begins as a Fino or Manzanilla sherry which are light, dry sherries that have been aged in wooden casks under a thick layer of flor. The sherry is fortified to make Amontillado, bringing the final ABV up to 16% before undergoing a second aging. This second aging provides a distinct nutty flavor.
We enjoy mixing with Amontillado sherry because the dryness and notable nutty flavors stand up to other spirits. This style of sherry is also delicious on its own as showcased in a simple cobbler.
Let’s get mixing!
Recipe 1: New Spain (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/new-spain-sherry-mezcal-cocktail)
This cocktail is described as a play on the Penicillin, a classic mix of Scotch, honey, ginger and lemon. The cocktail sources it’s smokiness from mezcal rather than scotch, sweetness from agave rather than honey, and acidity from lime juice rather than lemon.
The recipe calls for:
1 slice fresh ginger
½ oz agave nectar
¾ oz lime juice
2 oz amontillado sherry
1 oz mezcal
The ginger is muddled with the agave nectar and lime juice before all ingredients are shaken over ice.
The cocktail is strained over a large cube of ice and garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.
A few things stood out about this cocktail. First, this cocktail confirmed our theory that Amontillado sherry stands up to base spirits, even a bracingly strong mezcal. The second was that each ingredient was pretty accessible meaning it was an easy cocktail to source and mix. Finally, the smokiness from the mezcal and the amontillado sherry somehow created an almost saline component that was detectible but not overpowering. This interaction made for a very surprising yet delicious finish. The cocktail was described as fresh, balanced, smoky and absolutely delicious.
4 out of 4 thumbs up.
Recipe 2: Mary Astor (https://imbibemagazine.com/recipe/mary-astor/)
This recipe includes two styles of gin plus Amontillado sherry in a sour style template. The recipe calls for:
1 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Amontillado Sherry
½ oz Sloe Gin
¾ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
The sloe gin imparts a nice dried fruit tone to the cocktail that is met with the nuttiness of the Amontillado Sherry. This cocktail is extremely bright, citrus forward and fresh. It’s also bone dry and, despite its summery color, would be best suited as a fall cocktail.
The roundtable was torn on this cocktail but the consensus was clear. It would be a cocktail we would be happy to accept but wouldn’t be our first choice to mix up.
2 out of 4 thumbs up.
Recipe 3: Sherry Cobbler (https://punchdrink.com/recipes/sherry-cobbler/)
The history of the sherry cobbler is long, with cocktail historians like David Wondrich discovering an 1838 mention of the drink. This simple cocktail typically consists of sherry, ice, citrus, sugar and is garnished with a wide variety of fruits and fresh mint.
This recipe calls for:
3 ½ oz Amontillado Sherry
½ oz simple syrup
2-3 orange slices
The orange slices are muddled with the syrup before the sherry is added and shaken over ice. The cocktail is strained over crushed ice and garnished with a straw, berries, citrus and mint.
Sherry cobblers are delicious and highly underrated. This summer do yourself a favor. When you want to mix up a wine spritzer, mix a sherry cobbler instead. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did.
Having the sherry cobbler as part of the recipe roundtable also showcased how great Amontillado sherry is on its own, beside other cocktails that showcased how great it is with other spirits. This cocktail is dry and not sweet which makes it extremely crushable, especially when the weather warms up.
This cocktail picked up an easy 4 out of 4 thumbs up.
Recipe 4: A take on the Right Side up Old Fashioned (recalled from memory)
While attending a conference in Washington more than a few years ago, roundtable-ist Alexandre popped into the Columbia Room. Here he was served a take on the Old Fashioned, a cocktail that featured a delightful combination of whiskey and sherry in the style of an old fashioned.
Here we attempted to re-create the drink using:
1 ½ oz Rye Whiskey
¾ oz Amontillado Sherry
¼ oz Simple Syrup
1 barspoon Benedictine
The ingredients are all added to a mixing pitcher and stirred over ice until chilled and properly diluted.
This cocktail was an interesting play on an old Fashioned that was still spirit forward with a slight nuttiness at the end. Unfortunately, the sherry did get lost to the Benedictine which was pretty intense relative to the other ingredients.
This recipe got interesting in the scoring because it was pretty suitable and one that got votes for “I would order this off a cocktail menu”. However, our scoring is based on the simple question – would you mix this again? Under this criteria, our recollection of this cocktail only received 1 out of 4 thumbs up.
That wraps up Week 2 of the Recipe Roundtable. To replace Amontillado Sherry on our recipe board, we added “Dirty Named Cocktails” with a bit of regret. The recipe board for our Week 3 theme consists of:
- Fernet Branca
- Yellow Chartreuse
- Dirty Name Cocktails
- Warm Cocktails
- Jerry Thomas
- 3 Ingredient Cocktail
- Sparking Wine
Mix on friends.