This sherry cocktail is a great way to try something a little different with your home cocktail menu! Sherry is a fortified wine, and it has some rich caramel notes which pair really well with a dark rum. All of that with a little brightness from lemon juice, and you have a refreshing drink with a beautiful amber color.
This is a great drink to enjoy in any season, but to me it's perfect in that late summer/early fall transition. The flavors give it a nice warmth, and the lemon juice cuts through the sweetness to balance it all out.
This sherry cocktail would be a perfect pair with my Rum and Ramazzotti cocktail, since they both use dark rum, with this one being a little more tangy and fresh-tasting. Serve it alongside a pitcher of this delicious Pineapple Limeade for the folks who don't drink alcohol!
What is Sherry?
Sherry is made from wine, but it's fortified, which means it has more alcohol than most wine. It's also aged, so it carries some flavor from the aging process.
The sherry I used in this cocktail is called Amontillado Sherry, which is actually a dry sherry. This just means that sugar is not added to it, although it has some natural sweetness from the flavor of the grapes. You can try this cocktail with any type of sherry, but I would suggest sticking to the dry types (i.e. not Cream Sherry).
Note that since sherry is wine-based, with a lower alcohol content (usually 16-20%), the bottle will eventually spoil once opened. It should last about three weeks at room temperature, or a little longer if stored in the refrigerator.
This recipe uses a few specialized ingredients, but they're all very versatile. Here's what you'll need:
- Dark Rum
- Apricot Liqueur
- Fresh lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- Peychaud's Bitters
If you don't have some of the ingredients on hand, here are some ideas for substitutions:
- Sherry: although this is a pretty key ingredient, if you don't have it on hand, try substituting in a different kind of fortified wine, like Lillet Blanc.
- Rum: if you don't have rum, why not?? 🙂 Just kidding (kinda!). You can substitute whiskey in for the rum.
- Apricot Liqueur: this liqueur is a great one to have on hand because of its versatility. If you don't have it, try upping the amount of the simple syrup and adding a little more rum as well.
- Peychaud's Bitters: Peychaud's is a citrusy style of bitters. If you don't have it, lemon bitters would work great. Or, add a splash of Campari. You can also twist some lemon peel over the top of the finished cocktail to give it some extra lemon flavor.
This is a shaken cocktail, so you'll need a cocktail shaker and strainer. I also used a fine-mesh strainer to make sure there wasn't any lemon pulp left floating in the drink.
The glass shown in these photos is actually iridescent, which is why sometimes you can see purple tones in some of the photos. It's even prettier in person! Here is the link to purchase: iridescent rocks glasses.
I also suggest using clear ice for the best presentation. You can make large clear ice using a clear ice mold, or you can buy a bag of ice from the grocery store.
To make this drink, start by combining all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. I strained the lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer here. You could also do that step at the end (use both strainers at the same time while pouring it into the serving glass).
Once everything is added, fill the shaker with ice and shake it well, about 15-20 times. This will dilute and chill the mixture.
Add ice to your serving glass, and strain the mixture into the glass. Then, add a lemon wheel as a garnish, and serve immediately.
Hint: You can optionally add an extra dash of Peychaud's bitters at the very end for a touch of red color on top of the cocktail.
A great way to vary this cocktail would be to try different types of sherry. You can also make this drink a little more tropical by adding in about an ounce of pineapple juice.
If it's a really hot day, you can top this cocktail with some chilled tonic water for an extra-refreshing drink.
To keep your ice as clear as possible, let it "temper" before pouring the drink on top of it. This just means let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to bring the temperature up a little. It'll keep it from cracking when you pour the cocktail.
Sherry and Rum Cocktail
- Cocktail serving glass
- Fine mesh strainer (optional)
- Clear ice mold or grocery store clear ice (optional)
- 1 ounce Amontillado Sherry
- ¾ ounces dark rum
- ½ ounce apricot liqueur
- ¾ ounces lemon juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- Add clear ice to your cocktail serving glass and let it temper while you mix your drink.
- Add sherry, rum, apricot liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and Peychaud's bitters to a cocktail shaker.1 ounce Amontillado Sherry, ¾ ounces dark rum, ½ ounce apricot liqueur, ¾ ounces lemon juice, ½ ounce simple syrup, 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake the mixture well, about 15-20 hard shakes.
- Strain the drink into your cocktail serving glass.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel and serve immediately.