Friday Night Cocktail: Flor de Jerez

One of the downsides to being a home cocktail enthusiast, rather than a bar, is that any time you open a bottle of fortified or aromatized wine, it can be hard to get through it before it spoils.

To combat this problem, obsessives like me tend to curate recipes oriented around our favourite cocktail wines, so there’s a quick and easy list to consult when we find ourselves with a little extra on hand. (We also turn to searchable online databases like Kindred Cocktails and CocktailDB.) If the drinks we turn up have relatively large amounts of those wines – say, 1.5 ounces instead of 0.25 ounces – so much the better.

That’s more or less how I discovered the Flor de Jerez, a stunning drink from mixologist Joaquín Simó: I noticed it when paging through one of Food and Wine’s annual cocktail compendia, and made a note of it on my computer. One day, searching my notes for a drink that contained a significant pour of amontillado sherry (and wasn’t a Bamboo or an Up-to-Date), I happened across it. It was love at first sip, so much so that when I opened my latest bottle of amontillado, it was the first drink I mixed.

It’s an example of what I call “seamless” cocktails: the nuttiness of the sherry, the funk of the rum and the fruit of the apricot all come together into an integrated whole, and it becomes difficult to detect where one flavour ends and another begins.

And then there’s the name: “Flor de Jerez” means “flower of Jerez” (Jerez being the region of where sherry is made, and whence its name derives), but “flor” also refers to the yeast film that develops on top of maturing sherry. I never could resist a good play on words.

One of the drink’s ingredients is cane syrup, but if you don’t have any, take some raw sugar and make a 2:1 syrup (sometimes called “rich simple syrup”): for every cup of sugar, use half a cup of water. Bring it just to a boil, stirring to dissolve, then cover, cool, and store in the fridge.

How to make a Flor de Jerez

  • 1.5 oz. amontillado sherry
  • 0.5 oz. Jamaican rum (Smith & Cross works wonders here, but any dark Jamaican rum should do)
  • 0.25 oz. apricot liqueur
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. cane syrup
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice, and shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Now that you’ve made one, I know what you’re thinking: OK, this drink is great, but what has Simó done for me lately? Well, you’re in luck… if you happen to be in New York City. These days, he can be found at Pouring Ribbons, a new East Village bar from the brilliant Alchemy Consulting team that opened recently to great fanfare. It’ll be my first stop next time I’m in the city.

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One Response to “Friday Night Cocktail: Flor de Jerez”

  1. And to that I say a hearty “NOM!”