Monday, May 16, 2011


1 oz El Maestro Sierra 12 Year Old Amontillado Sherry
1 oz High West Double Rye
1 oz Frapin VS Cognac
1 dash Simple Syrup (under 1/4 oz)
3 dash Smoking Ban Bitters (sub Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top and discard.

Two Thursdays ago, I met Andrea at Clio for drinks. One of the cocktails bartender Todd Maul made for me was a take on the Saratoga that appears in Jerry Thomas' Bon-Vivant's Companion (and not the other one I more recently wrote about). Instead of sweet vermouth, Todd substituted in a glorious 12 year old Amontillado sherry from El Maestro Sierra which contains some delicious earthy tobacco notes; Todd also added some simple syrup to give the sherry a similar sweetness to Italian vermouth. In addition, to bolster the tobacco notes in the sherry, Todd added a few dashes of Smoking Ban Bitters. Todd threatened to name this drink after me and call it the "F.Y." or similar; who knows if he will make do on his threat, but his track record of naming drinks The Simon or the J.R.T. after his regulars speaks for itself. For now, I will just dub the drink the Montresor in respect to the sherry.
The drink's lemon twist added high notes to the aroma of the sherry. The taste was dry, earthy, and somewhat herbal on the sip, contained the sherry's nuttiness and rye's spice on the swallow, and ended with the bitters' clove on the finish. Surprisingly, the drink did not taste much like its simple components as the flavor morphed into something higher to the point that it would be hard determine the individual constituents.

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