Sherry Wine News

How the Best American Bartender of the Year makes a Sherry cocktail

Ivy Mix knows her Sherry, and she can shake or stir up a damn fine cocktail. Not only was she awarded "Best American Bartender of the Year" at the 2015 Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, but she's also come in as first runner up in the 2012 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition with her cocktail, Palo Negro, found these days on the menu at Leyenda in Brooklyn, New York.

Featuring Palo Cortado, the Palo Negro is a beguiling combination of Sherry, Reposado Tequila, dark Rum, and Grand Marnier.  Why did she choose those ingredients?  Well, we'll let her tell you.

Ivy Mix: I wanted to blend two parts of the world that I love most: Mexico and Spain. I took different modes to bring the drink together. I started with the Sherry, knowing that I wanted to draw upon the nutty rich flavors of the Palo Cortado, using the pepper notes from the lowland Partida Reposado to draw out the tannins of the Sherry. The Blackstrap Rum adds a depth, acting as a bridge (albeit a very hearty one) between the nutty chocolate of the Sherry and the peppery caramel of the Tequila, bringing the rich terroir of the Sherry to forefront. The Grand Marnier acts as a closing tie that takes the floral notes of the sherry and ties it to the orange disc garnish in the end. Only an orange disc is desired, as a whole twist will over power the drink.

Find the recipe for Palo Negro here.

The bar at Leyenda in Brooklyn 1 of 2
Ivy Mix and Julie Reiner, proprietors of Leyenda 2 of 2

Ivy Mix: Despite the perceived richness of this cocktail, I see this cocktail being enjoyed more as an aperitif cocktail, during tapas or pinxtos; this is for a post long day of work during the fall or winter months when it is already dark when the "normal" workday ends when one just needs a bite and a drink to wind down.

Pair this with Grilled Bay Scallops on the Half Shell - Scallops grilled and tossed with chorizo oil, garlic, Serrano chile, orange juice, sherry vinegar, thyme and caramelized shallot. Top with breadcrumbs that have been fried in chorizo oil. The scallops themselves are slightly sweet and creamy and have an earthy terroir to them. Furthermore, the overall flavors (orange, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, thyme) work well with the roasted vanilla, coffee, pepper and caramelized flavors in the Partida Reposado and Palo Cortado. It's inspired by Puerto Vallarta-style seafood ceviches and Spanish-style seafood/meat preparations to complete the blend of Mexico and Spain.

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Sherry Wines U.S.
Official US office representing Sherry Wines. Love Sherry? Us too. Local news, tastings, cocktails & food, everything is better with Sherry, Salúd!
Sherry Wines U.S. @SherryWinesUS
04 March 2016
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