“I’m going to throw caution to the winds and have a sweet sherry.” – Alan Bennett
On one of my last forays into my local liquor store, I finally picked up a bottle of Amontillado sherry – a spirit that has been on my list of things to play with after a recent trip to bay area where I was served a glass as part of a tasting menu. My initial reaction was “where in the world has this been all my life??” because up until that point, my only real experience with sherry had been in cooking with it. But that sherry had nothing in common with what I’d been served. This sherry was nutty, slightly sweet with hints of citrus and spice – a revelation. All I could think of after that meal was “that sherry would be great in a cocktail”!!!
Once the tipple of choice for old ladies and the british aristocracy, sherry is experiencing a new popularity. Led by savvy sommeliers and crafty bartenders sherry has been showing up on menus across the country. Since that memorable meal, I’ve been seeing sherry pop up on more and more cocktail menus as well – both by the glass and more commonly as the base of a cocktail.
So I’ve been exploring and experimenting – working through the classics like the Adonis and the Bamboo and most recently with that American classic, the sherry cobbler…. or in this case a Sherry and Ginger Cobbler. But first what exactly is sherry?
Simply put, sherry is a fortified wine produced in Southern Spain and is produced in a variety of dry styles. Made primarily from the Palomino grape sherry ranges from light versions such as Manzanilla and Fino to darker and heavier versions such as Amontillado and Oloroso which have been allowed to oxidize as they age in barrel. Sweet dessert style sherries are also made from Pedro Ximenex or Moscatel grapes and and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries.
After fermentation, sherry is then fortified with grape spirit, increasing the alcohol content – to an average of 15% ABV – thus making sherry a “lower octane” spirit and ideal for summer cocktails like this Sherry and Ginger Cobbler. A true American original, the Sherry Cobbler was the most popular drink in the 1800’s – so named because the the chips of ice the drink is served over resembled cobblestones. A simple combination of sherry, sugar and fruit the Sherry Cobbler is open to interpretation – any number of liqueurs can be added in place of all or part of the sugar and you can mix up the fruits as well. After several experiments I came up with this Sherry and Ginger Cobbler – sherry, amaetto and a little bit of a ginger infused simple syrup. Nutty, citrusy and a little spicy/ sweet, this Sherry and Ginger Cobbler is a nice change from smashes and fizzes and just the thing to ease you into fall!
- 2 oz. Amontillado Sherry
- ½ oz. Amaretto
- ¼ oz. ginger infused simple syrup
- 3 lemon slices
- 2 orange slices
- 1 strawberry
- 1 sprig mint
- In a shaker glass combine 1 lemon slice, 1 orange slice, the sherry, amaretto and the simple syrup. Add 6 - 8 ice cubes aand shake for 30 - 45 minutes. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Strain the cocktail into the rocks glass. Garnish with orange and lemon slices, strawberry and mint.