In an unlikely move, I am getting ahead of the game. Laying the groundwork for things to come. I don’t always do that. You see, I never really had a plan here. I just started making drinks and writing words. If this were some great endeavor, carefully organized from the beginning, we would not have this trouble. I would have begun with the early cocktails and worked my way down through time, showing how one cocktail builds upon another in a great evolutionary tree of drink. That is what I would have done, if I had a plan. So, in recognition of our collective nearly perfect hindsight, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Flor de Jerez.
The name is a reference to the Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, long famed for their sherry production. In fact, the word sherry comes from the 16th century pronunciation of the town. The entire region is well suited to viniculture and grapes have been grown there since they were introduced by the Phoenicians around 1,100 BC. Nearly 2,000 years later the Moors would conquer the area and introduce distillation to create brandy and the fortified wines that would eventually be known as sherry. So, it is not surprising that this sherry forward drink, created at New York’s Death & Co. by Joaquin Simo, was named the “Flower of Jerez”.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Amontillado Sherry, I chose Aurora made in Jerez by Bodegas Yuste; 1/2 an ounce of Jamaican rum, I went with Appleton Estate Signature; 1/4 ounce of Luxardo Apricot Liqueur, 3/4 of an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 an once of rich simple syrup and 2 stabs of Angostura bitters. Add ice and give it a good shake to the beat of “Camino a Casa” by the amazing Susana Raya. She’s also a product of Andalusia and if you check out the link to this song, you can watch her sing it live at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and even see my wife’s silhouette. Sadly, I was just out of frame. Anyway, when those tins are good and cold, double strain into a chilled coupe of Spanish origin and garnish with a dehydrated lemon.
That is definitely sherry forward in the best way. It is light, citrus right up front, a lemony edge on the dry roasted almond flavor of the amontillado. The rum gives this a nice smooth base to work from. I more sense than taste the apricot. It is definitely present, just interwoven with all those fruity notes from the sherry. It’s a wonderful drink, just make sure to choose a good sherry that has been stored properly. Like any fortified wine, it goes off after a while and an off sherry well, it should’ve been gone, knowing how I made it feel, with apologies to Steve Perry.
This drink was not on my radar, though it should have been. It was only when reading about an odd peanut butter variation of this one, the Flor de PB Jerez Swizzle, that I discovered it. I was getting ready to make that one, cause I love any excuse to use my “le bois lélé” traditional swizzle stick, when it occurred to me that maybe I should do the inspiration before the variation, just to give a good baseline and have the sacred timeline flow in the more traditional linear fashion. I’ve got to admit, I am sort of proud of myself, doing things in the correct order, as if I had a plan. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to make a habit of it. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.