Considered by many as the world’s greatest wine bargain, sherry has made a huge comeback over the last few years, and just so happens to be the perfect tipple for fall!
Like port made in nearby Portugal, sherry is a fortified wine made primarily from a grape called Palomino in Southwestern Spain. After fermentation, the base wine is fortified with grape spirit to increase final alcohol content. The wine is then aged in barrel, developing a layer of what is called 'flor' – a film of yeast that forms on the top of the liquid, protecting it from excessive oxidation.
There are several different types of sherry, but they tend to fit into three main categories. Fino and Manzanilla are the driest. They are light, delicate and have a slight salty flavour and sometimes a slight nuttiness. Amontillado and Oloroso sherries are slightly richer, darker and nuttier as they are exposed to more oxygen than their lighter counterparts once the flor has died or because flor has never developed at all. The last category of sherries are the sweet sherries. The most well-known is PX, or Pedro Ximenez named after the grape it is made of. They are extremely rich, nutty and raisiny-sweet, and are nothing like the cream sherry your grandma kept in the back of her cupboard.
Sherry is also a perfect accompaniment to food! Try a manzanilla or fino with cheese and olives, or an amontillado with Iberico ham, paté or Jerusalem artichokes. The richer types of sherries such as Oloroso do well with nuts or strong flavouried cheeses, and sweeter sherries such as Pedro Ximenez is absolute perfection with a brownie, or poured over ice cream.
Sherry also makes the perfect base for a delicious cocktail, especially for those who don't want something too sweet. We asked our boy Chad, cocktail wizard and master of the "modern dad" fashion wave, to share his favourite sherry cocktail recipe that is easy enough for you to make at home, and will definitely leave you singing "hey baby give me some more - ooh drop it to the flor".
Drop it to the Flor
1 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Amaro (We recommend Amaro Lucano or Averna)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a Fifth & Vermouth coupe glass. Enjoy!
*To make honey syrup take equal parts honey to water and warm on the stove in a saucepan until honey dissolves into the water. Can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.