Like most pre-prohibition cocktails, this sherry-forward ‘Up to date’ cocktail is quite mellow and easy sipping. The recipe comes from a pre-prohibition book written by a German bartender in New York, that contained famous recipes such as the gin-based Aviation. It’s a 1 to 1 ratio of rye (or bourbon) to Amontillado sherry, with a hint of aromatic orange. Compared to a fino sherry, Amontillado is it’s slightly saltier, nutty, less-dry cousin. As much as I like typically go for the clean crispy dry fino, in this case, the amontillado is the right fit for this cocktail.
It has the typical sherry scent on the nose, but the first sip is rather confusing. With the sherry at the front, I expected sweeter fortified wine taste to overcome my pallet. However, with using Rittenhouse, it dials the fortified wine finish back until the VERY end, which makes sense because of how strong (100 proof) Rittenhouse rye is. Rittenhouse is a bit more overpowering than JP wiser rye for example, but in general for cocktails Rittenhouse is what i prefer for that reason. It has a powerful complex that doesn’t let the other ingredients take over so it compliments the sherry quite well. In order to balance everything out, there’s a few dashes of angostura and a bit of Grand Marnier to mesh the spiciness of the rye with the nuttiness of the sherry. There’s not a ton of orange flavor but you get a hint of this orange brandy with the clearly visible angostura in this drink. With a 2nd try, I personally think I’d go bourbon on this one because it’s a bit too dry for my liking (when it comes to sherry cocktail) but it’s not bad. I’d drink it again.
Recipe is as follows:
1 1/2 ounces amontillado sherry
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
1/4 ounce Grand Marnier
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a coupe glass with a slice of lemon peel & serve!