Wednesday, June 8, 2011

greenbriar cocktail

2/3 Sherry (2 oz Lustau East India Solera)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Peach Bitters (Fee Brothers)
1 sprig Mint

Shake with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. Lightly muddling the mint followed by stirring would work well too. I garnished with an additional sprig of mint.

Last Wednesday, I recalled my conversation with Lineage's Ryan Lotz about Mint Juleps. When I mentioned that we had made the sherry and yellow Chartreuse-containing Platonic Julep last year, Ryan replied that he loved Sherry Juleps and that Toro serves them at their bar. I then set out to find the sherry and mint drink that I had spotted a few weeks prior. I soon found it, the Greenbriar Cocktail, in Harry McElhone's Barflies and Cocktails. The Greenbriar Cocktail is not a Julep, but appears to be a sherry and dry vermouth version of the gin-based Derby down to the inclusion of the peach bitters.
To balance the dry vermouth, I reached for one of our sweeter sherries, Lustau East India Solera which is a combination of a sweet Pedro Ximénez and a dry Oloroso. The mint in the drink donated much of the drink's aroma. The sip was a slightly sweet grape flavor that was chased by the sherry's nuttiness, the mint, and a lingering peach note. The swallow had a slight degree of bitterness from shaking the mint with ice, and perhaps lightly muddling the mint followed by stirring with ice would provide a more pleasing flavor. Overall, the Greenbriar Cocktail would probably make for a nice summer aperitif.

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