Sherry, in the modern day is coming back to the bar scene all over the world, including in the vibrant cocktail scene in Vancouver, B.C. The city's Nomad Restaurant is taking the lead and creating new and inventive sherry inclusive cocktails.
Nomad is an enterprise crafted by four associates from British Columbia who have journeyed to different parts of the world and experienced a world of cultures and flavors. Those experiences were brought back to Vancouver, BC to create a unique dining experience.
Not only are these experiences reflective of the dynamic food menu but also in the bar program. Seasonal ingredients and trendy cocktails are what this bar is all about. The cocktail menu includes fresh locally sourced ingredients that is ever changing to make best use of available produce. You will also only find British Columbia beer and wine on their menu. They use these components in making their own shrubs, bitters, syrups, tinctures, and infusions. The menu is made up of a selection of multi-facade cocktails with a lot of depth in which with each sip you may discover a new flavor. This philosophy is translated into the sherry cocktails they offer at the Nomad bar. Sherry is considered an old-school tipple of wine with further distilled wine added to fortify from grapes grown near the town of Jerez de la Fontera in Spain. The Moorish period brought about the name of Sherry, which was translated from the Arabic, Seris, pronounced "Sherish". Nomad Restaurant Owner and Head Bartender Matt Van Dinther gossiped with me as to why sherry is making a fashionable comeback.
Some items that came up include:
Sherry has a low alcohol content, so it is perfect when sipping multiple cocktails or for those who wish to indulge but have made the sacrifice to be designated driver
Sherry is being utilized as more of an ingredient rather than it’s traditionally suggested use as a digestif or aperitif
Sherry is a cost effective product for the home or professional bartender
Sherry cuts the sweetness of cocktails, and can add richness or dryness
Sherry has been known to aide in digestion
Sherry and tonic combine well together during the warmer months
Dinther presented me with two different cocktails that utilized sherry and are available at Nomad. These cocktails use two different sherries. Fino or a light sherry was used, and then he made his second cocktail with a medium dry sherry. The first cocktail he shared with me was a classic sherry cobbler. A classic sherry cobbler is created by muddling fruit, shaved ice sherry, and sugar, which is topped with fresh fruit and can be served with a spoon to eat the garnish!
Dinther makes a modern version, which includes Fino Sherry instead of the Manzanilla sherry traditionally used in this libation. He also utilizes the citrus of half a lime and a couple of dashes of angostura bitters for balance.
This unique Sherry Cobbler recipe is as follows:
- 2.5 ounces of Fino sherry
- ½ ounce of simple syrup
- ½ ounce of lime juice
- 2-3 orange slices
- 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Shaved ice
- Muddle orange instead of juicing to release all the oils and essence.
- Add fresh lime juice, simple syrup, bitters and Fino sherry.
- Shake with ice to chill.
- Double strain over fresh shaved ice.
- Garnish with edible flowers and seasonal fruit.
The second was Nomad's signature cocktail designed to be a twist on the traditional Brown Derby. Classically the Brown Derby is made with fresh grapefruit juice, bourbon, and honey syrup. Dinther has decided this version is to be called a Spanish Derby due to the use of sherry.
This Spanish Derby recipe is as follows:
- 1.5 ounces of Bourbon
- ¾ ounce of Manzanilla Sherry
- 5 dashes of Grapefruit bitters
- ⅓ ounce of Honey Syrup
- ½ cup of ice
- In a shaker add ice, bourbon, sherry, honey syrup, and grapefruit bitters.
- Stir mixture then strain into a martini glass.
- Spritz the cocktail with the oils of a grapefruit peel or some absinthe for a lighter feel.
The resurgence of sherry can be attributed to the new generation of professional bartenders who are constantly sourcing quality forgotten or overlooked products to introduce to the modern consumer and their more educated palate. Sherry is a great addition because it is a diverse ingredient coming in many styles ranging from those that can give a cocktail more depth to those that when used proficiently create a lighter feel when sipping a well balanced and professionally made cocktail at your favorite venue.