Thursday, October 14, 2010

bread & wine

1 oz Dry Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1 1/2 oz Scotch (Caol Ila 12 Year)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 - 1/3 oz Maple Syrup (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Pernod Fils). Add a large ice cube and an orange twist. Use the higher volume of maple syrup if lemons are more tart than normal.

On Friday night, I opened up the recipe pamphlet given out by the Secret Sherry Society at Tales of the Cocktail and contemplated which of the recipes would make a good nightcap. The Bread & Wine, the winner of their contest, stood out; it was created by Charles Joly of the Drawing Room in Chicago and pairs Scotch with an oloroso sherry over a maple Sour base.
The drink started with a smoky peat and orange oil aroma. The sip was a combination of the sweet-and-sour of the maple syrup and lemon juice plus the maltiness of the whiskey. The swallow was filled with sherry notes followed by a lingering crisp lemon with hints of absinthe botanicals from the rinse. We were quite surprised that this drink won a sherry contest the way we made it -- not because the Bread & Wine was not a delicious drink, but because the Scotch played such a dominant role in the flavor profile and dwarfed the sherry. Perhaps I should have grabbed a more subtle Scotch such as a blend like Famous Grouse to let the sherry sing out more. Otherwise, swapping the volumes of the sherry and potent single malt might have worked a little as well to bring the sherry out of hiding. Regardless, if Communion served this cocktail as a body and blood symbol, there might be more people in attendance at Sunday Mass.

Postnote: I did a little research, and yes, we overdid the Scotch. Charles was quoted as saying, "I kept the cocktail very simple. I wanted the sherry to come through... and the sherry comes through loud and clear with lots of complexity." While we matched his sherry preference perfectly, his choice of whiskey is Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Scotch for this recipe. Moreover, he also stated a preference for Sirene Absinthe if you can find it.


KeithP said...

Too funny ... I thought this recipe looked familiar and after racking my brain recalled that I had made this several weeks back after seeing it on Camper's site. Like you I reached for an Islay and also found it a tad overpowering (that's hard for me to write given I love the stuff) ... made another go using FG blended and liked it even more.

Unknown said...

I'll have to test this out; it sounds great. I'm a sucker for maple syrup in almost anything, though. Are there any problems with maple syrup dissolving, or am I just overthinking things?

KVB said...

When made with the Balvenie Doublewood 12, holy god, this is an AMAZING cocktail. When I buy it, it's never there for long...
No issues with the maple dissolving. Works like a charm.

frederic said...

I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm Scotch shopping. Although Balvenie's Caribbean rum cask Scotch has made me rather curious.