What's New in February

2011 Cocktail Contest: the Sweet Wines of Jerez

We can't get enough Sherry around here. We really don't try to hide it and sometimes we even flaunt it a little too much, like when we invite the neighbors over for our boquerones and fino breakfast. So it should come as little surprise that we're constantly exploring new ways to expand our Sherry horizons. Last year's explorations lead us to a town in the heart of Sherry Country called Chipiona.

Chipiona is known locally for its Moscatel. Historically all of Moscatel produced here has been sold to other wineries within the D.O. of Jerez-Xérès-Sherry for use in their sweet sherries. But recently the wineries of Chipiona have started to estate bottle. One of these wineries is Bodegas César Florido, one of the oldest wineries in Chipiona with origins dating back to 1887.

Currently owned and operated by César Florido, a descendant of the winery’s founder, Bodegas César Florido produces three Moscatels that will be making their way to the US this spring. Moscatel Dorado is their traditional Moscatel aged for one year in old butts, Moscatel Especial offers a unique flavor profile thanks to a small amount of arope (must reduced through cooking) added to the blend, and lastly we'll have the Moscatel Pasas made from sun-dried Moscatel and aged for four years. All three wines are scheduled to arrive this spring and we'll have more information available as we approach their release.

To welcome our newest producer from Sherry Country this year's cocktail contest features the sweet wines of Jerez. Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez; Maestro Sierra, Gutierrez Colosia or César Florido; take your pick. Send us your original cocktail recipes for your shot at winning one of three hand-painted porrons by our very special 2011 surprise guest artist.

The rules are the same as usual: the cocktail must be an original creation, and you're free to use any of our sweet sherries from El Maestro Sierra, Gutierrez Colosia, or Bodegas César Florido. We will be taking submissions through December for our tasting at the end of the year. Each month we will post the latest submissions until the winning concoctions are announced early next year.


Interested in all of the recipes so far? See them listed below.

Cider and Moscatel
by Shannon H. of Roger's Drugstore, in Durham, NC

¾ oz North Carolina Apple Brandy
½ oz Cesar Florido Moscatel Pasas
½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 oz Isastegi Sagardo Naturala
Combine ingredients in shaker. Pour and serve.

PX, I Love You
By Shannon H. from Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, NC

1 ½ oz Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximénez
¾ oz Drambuie
¾ oz lemon juice
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

Hot Chipiona
by Michael M. & Greg D. of Vin Rouge, in Durham, NC

2½ oz Cesar Florido Moscatel Dorado
1 oz El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximénez
½ oz Redemption Rye
2 oz Browned Butter
3 drops Maple Bitters
Dash of Salt
Squeeze of Lemon
Combine all ingredients in a coffee cup and stir well. Fill with hot Camomile tea, reheat with espresso wand if necessary.

Sauntering Gentleman
by Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing St. Bar in New York, NY

1 oz Sierra PX sherry
¾ oz Luxardo Bitter
¾ oz Zucca Amaro
½ oz Sierra Amontillado 1830 VV
1 dash angostura
Stir all ingredients together with ice, pour into a chilled coupe top with float of lagavulin scotch (be sure to pour slowly over back of a spoon to float on top, about .15 oz, just enough for aromatic purposes)

Java Pyrat
by Abe K. of Blue Ribbon Downing St. Bar in New York, NY

2 oz Pyrat Rum
½ oz Sierra PX sherry
½ oz Fair Trade Co. Cafe Liquor
1 Dash A.B. Smeby Bittering Co. Chai and Rye Bitters
Combine all ingredients together, pour over ice in a rocks glass

Winners of the 2010 Concoction Contest: Cider

The winners of our 2010 Concoction Contest have been chosen. With both cocktails and dishes in this tasting judging was difficult but there could be only three winners. Here are the results from our tasting panel.

To Your Health
by Mindy C. of Toro Bravo in Portland, OR

2 oz Isastegi Sagardo
2 oz Pimms No. 1
2 oz Apple Cordial*
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup
Combine Pimms No. 1, apple cordial, splash of lemon juice, and splash of simple syrup. Shake and pour into a 16 oz glass. Top with Isastegi Sagardo and garnish with an apple twist.

Spero's Meditation
By Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar in New York, NY

3.5oz Poma Áurea
0.75oz Poli Traminer Grappa
0.5oz Raw Honey Simple Syrup*
0.5oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Combine ingredients in shaker, top with ice and stir lightly to combine. Pour and serve in a champagne flute.

Cider N' Spice
by Charles S. of Bocado Tapas Wine Bar in Worcester, MA

2.5oz Isastegi Cider
0.5oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
A dash of Bittermens Xocoltl Mole Bitter
Combine ingredients and shake. Strain into a chilled, cinnamon and sugar rimmed glass and garnish with an apple slice.

Each winner will receive one of our limited edition 2010 custom-designed porrons by Beatrice Agullo.