The Sherry Sangaree Cocktail

Sherry may be out of fashion right now, but this cocktail will surely have you bringing it back. The Sangaree Cocktail livens up dry sherry with Cointreau, simple syrup, and a lemon twist--perfect if you're a dry sherry newbie or are in the mood for something a little different...and delicious.

Oh sherry, why must you be out of fashion?

I love sherry and its story. You want to learn about a wine that is taken pretty seriously? Research Sherry. There are entire books written about sherry, and rightfully so--sherry is awesome. It happens to be one of the most complex fortified wines out there and therefore can be pretty confusing. If you're not familiar, Sherry is from the Jerez region of Spain. Its HOT down there, and the climate of the region creates an environment perfect for the grapes going into Sherry that no other region in the world can replicate. So, really, Sherry is pretty freaking special and one of the coolest fortified wines out there (in my opinion).

But sherry indeed fell out of fashion in the 20th century thanks to changing tastes and bad economies. Here in America, its hard to find something decent beyond "cooking" sherry. Such a shame. But don't worry friends, good sherry is out there, and you should find yourself a bottle. There are various types of sherry: Fino sherry (aka dry Sherry) which is the most delicate and famous sherry out there; Oloroso sherry, which is darker in color and fairly dry as well (although in this country they are predominantly sweet); and cream sherry, which is perhaps the most popular because of its sweet, dessert-style flavor.

Confused? Don't worry, you don't need to be a sherry expert. But you do need to make sure you have the right sherry for the cocktail you're making. One of my favorite cocktails in the entire world, the Andalucia, calls for cream sherry. The one I'm sharing with you today calls for dry sherry. Dry sherry indeed tastes...dry. Its also nutty and can have a "salty" taste to it which freaks people out. I love sampling people on dry sherry for the first time and seeing the reaction on their faces--the "dryness" is just something we're not used to drinking, so it tastes weird at first. But its delicious as an aperitif (as a cocktail before your meal) and ESPECIALLY delicious with nutty cheeses (mmmm....Manchego). If you buy a bottle though and its not your cup of tea, that's okay. Make yourself this Sangaree cocktail and it will surely change your mind!

The Recipe

I stumbled upon this recipe one evening in my favorite cocktail recipe book, The Ultimate Bar Book (highly recommended). Friends, I gotta say, this cocktail is freaking delicious. Especially if you are not a sherry fan. I don't really know how to explain it, but the harmony between the Cointreau and sherry is beautiful while the simple syrup livens everything up. But you have to be careful--it has 4 ounces of 17% abv wine in it PLUS Cointreau and simple syrup...so this cocktail is dangerous. It definitely had me feeling happy after just one. You can sub Triple Sec for the Cointreau if you don't have any, but make sure you add that one to your bar inventory--it is richer than Triple Sec and is called for in many cocktails. As for the Fino Sherry (or dry sherry), you don't have to buy anything super expensive if you don't want to, but don't go so low as using sherry designated for cooking. I found the Harltley and Gibson's Fino Sherry for about $20 at a local wine shop.

The Sherry Sangaree

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Dry Sherry
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. Stir the Sherry, Cointreau, and simple syrup together in an ice-filled mixing glass.
  2. Strain into an ice-filled wine glass (I like using one giant ice cube, as shown in the photos).
  3. Run the lemon peel along the rim of the wine glass, twist it over the glass, then drop it in.

Thirsty for More? Check out these Cocktail Recipes:

The Andalucia

The Chapala

The Gimlet