Yesterday I wrote about two simple, spirit-forward cocktails using Templeton Rye. I was excited about the outcome of both drinks. Today I’m taking a different and more unusual approach, pairing the rye with Sherry in two different cocktails.
I’m a little bit obsessed with Sherry and am always trying to find ways to highlight it in a cocktail. It’s a bit of an odd ingredient for cocktails, as it’s more often sipped on its own. I wondered how it would work with rye – would the flavors clash in a fight for dominance, or would they meld into something delightfully drinkable?
It turns out, it depends on the drink. I used an Amontillado Sherry in both drinks for consistency. First, the Up To Date, a classic cocktail from the 1916 edition of Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks. This drink pairs equal amounts of rye and Sherry with Grand Mariner and bitters. I love this combination. Neither spirit is dominant – instead, they’re harmonious and are enhanced by the addition of the Grand Mariner. This is a very drinkable cocktail, like a Manhattan but more interesting.
My second experiment was the Two Stone. Like the Up to Date, it’s also a riff on a Manhattan, but emphasizes the rye over the Sherry. It also includes an orange liqueur in the form of Orange Curacao instead of Grand Mariner. As much as I love rye, I didn’t love this drink. It wasn’t balanced, and the flavors didn’t play as well together when the rye was matched with an equal amount of Sherry.
I think the learning here is that Rye and Amontillado sherry, while a seemingly unusual pairing, work well together, particularly when used in equal amounts. I would expect to need to experiment with that ratio when using other types of sherry, such as Oloroso, or Manzanita, or even the sweet Pedro Ximinez. From now on when I see Rye and vermouth in a drink, I’m definitely going to try swapping out the vermouth with Sherry to see if I like the outcome.
Part three of this series will cover more cocktail variations using Templeton Rye, including a crazy pairing of rye with balsamic vinegar. In a cocktail! Stop in tomorrow to learn more.
Disclaimer: The folks at Templeton Rye provided me with a bottle of their product for experimentation. All opinions are my own.