Warm weather has got me thinking about cocktails again. My sherry obsession started talking to my tequila obsession and decided to have a baby. As it turns out, they’ve already made a bunch of babies as sherry fixated bartenders the world over have been mining this idea with some winning results.
Why do sherry and tequila go together? It depends. Dry sherries have a distinctive saline quality which, as we know, blends well with tequila. Both are pungent spirits with savory flavor profiles that open up a world of possibilities for combining fruit, herbs or bitters. Sweeter sherries like Oloroso or Pedro Ximinez can be used in place of a liqueur.
I found a cocktail recipe called La Perla developed by Jacques Bezuidenhout for Bourbon & Branch restaurant in Philadelphia. It calls for reposado tequila, manzanilla sherry (my favorite) and pear liqueur. I had a shake off with St. George’s Spiced Pear liqueur vs. Belle de Brillet.
The Brillet Pear Brandy has a distinctive floral note giving the drink a healthy dose of pear authenticity. The St. George is much darker in color and density with the addition of some clove and cinnamon. I cut the St. George in half and found that both drihks benefited from a squeeze of lemon. The recipe has the drink served neat but I prefer both versions over ice as it dilutes the intensity. Here’s my version. Salud!
1.5 oz Fortalez Reposado Tequila
1.5 oz La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sherry
.75 oz Belle de Brillet or .5 St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
Shake with ice, serve on the rocks
Garnish with a lemon twist