The more I read about sherry, the more and more fascinated I become by it. There are worlds and worlds of wine located in just the Sherry Triangle on the coast of Spain. It has become my microcosm for trying to understand the larger wine world. Sherry is complex; there are many different styles to try, and every style has its own little quirks. All of them revolve around how the wine is aged. Is it under flor, a layer of yeast that seals it from oxygen? Was the flor punctured to allow oxygen in at a certain point? Were the grapes dried before they were pressed for juice? Where on the coast is the bodega, and how does that affect the wine? Sherry is a subject I could easily get lost in; there is enough material and mystery there to keep anyone occupied for a very long time. Unfortunately, decades of cut rate knock offs and California "sherry" has sullied the otherwise laudable name of this fine spirit. It is just in the last handful of years that it has returned to prominence.
I have an amazing group of friends that push me in a variety of directions every day. From discussing serious business and life events to being ridiculous as possible about current events, they are always entertaining and intellectually stimulating. To break one of the lulls in conversation, Nate asked the question "Who ever heard of a Snozzberry?" Who indeed. This cocktail is for them.
1 oz./ 30 mL Pedro Ximenez Sherry
.5 oz./ 15 mL crèm de cassis
4 oz./ 118 mL Champagne
3-4 black berries (or equal amount of your favorite berry)
2-3 ds. plum bitters (optional)
Glass: Champagne flute
In a mixing tin, muddle the blackberries with the crème de cassis. Add the sherry, and then shake for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into the champagne flute. Top with the champagne, and add the berries as a garnish.
Sweet and bubbly. Nothing really wrong with that combination. I am still in love with sherry, especially the sweeter ones. Pedro Ximenez is a dessert in and of itself; utilizing this sweetness and adding some layers of berries under it brings out all the fruitiness in the spirit. The champagne is a great way to balance the sweetness out; make it as dry as possible so you do not start to rot your teeth or kick start latent diabetes. If you have some on hand, a dash or three of plum bitters is not a terrible addition.