Sherry’s sex appeal, revealed

By: Stacie Hunt – Sommelier
Contributor’s website: Splash Pros

What we need is a dashingly attractive actor appearing in an adventurous story, in an exotic locale, saving the world with wit and sinew. Then, afterwards, relaxing with a sherry cocktail.  I think that would do it.  That would show sherry’s sex appeal, along with box office receipts.  Sherry is moving from under the cabinet to top of the bar.

 Sherry is a fortified wine from the southwestern region of Spain: Jerez de la Frontera – made from white Palomino, Muscat Alexandria and the becoming-extinct Pedro Ximenez grapes. 

The wine ranges within two styles: dry, delicate fino – nearly clear in color and full bodied and semi-sweet oloroso – colored from pale amber to black-brown.

Sherry starts out like most white wines, grapes are crushed and juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Here’s where the uniqueness begins: the wine is now fortified with distilled grape spirits (Brandy) and poured into barrels to rest for at least a year. After a year or so, this young liquid will enter the Solera where it will progressively age with older years of wine, age and develop a unique complexity, via the Solera Method.

Stylish mixologists are mixing it up with cocktails that both evoke the past romance and glamour of Sherry, combining new technology and fresh ingredients.  Each year the Secret Sherry Society holds a national competition for best cocktail.  To choose one, I mixed, squeezed and garnished for five hours experimenting with some of the past winners. This one re-imagines the traditional Margarita.  
Sherry-Up Margarita
½ oz Palo Cortado Sherry
1 oz Tequila
2 oz Fresh lime
Splash or fresh orange juice
Shake in a mixing glass with ice
Run a quarter lime slice around the rim of a Martini glass
Pour a little seasoned salt onto a plate and swirl the rim lightly
Strain the liquid into the Martini glass
Garnish with an orange or lime slice


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