There’s more to sherry than just the super-sweet stuff your nana drank while knitting with her cat, Mr. Fluffy Pants. There are fino sherries, known for their dry tartness, manzanilla sherries with their briny notes, and nutty, almost savory oloroso sherries. And they aren’t only good for sipping straight. Here, the nine best classic cocktails made with sherry.
9 Best Sherry Cocktails
Created by Leo Robitschek of New York’s NoMad, this variation on a Bloody Mary gets an extra layer of savory-goodness from the addition of nutty amontillado sherry. Without the measure of vodka or any other high-proof spirits, this brunch-staple becomes a low-ABV sipper you can enjoy all day.
Made with dry sherry, peach brandy and triple sec, this fruit-forward aperitif makes for a delightful pre-dinner sipper. Make sure to serve the drink over crushed ice for maximum effect, and if you want it to be less sweet and more Martini-esque, opt for dry curaçao over triple sec.
One of the oldest American cocktails on record, this sherry-based Highball was one of the most popular cocktails amongst early colonists at the dawn of the 1800s. Made with muddled oranges—which can be added to or substituted with just about any fruit—sherry and crushed ice, this cocktail is both savory and refreshing.
Hailing from Portland, Maine’s Eventide Oyster Co., this effervescent, sherry-based cocktail is the autumnal cousin to an Aperol Spritz. Made with sherry, ginger syrup and Cava (or Champagne) this low-ABV beverage is refreshingly chuggable.
This booze-tastic, layered libation is one of the only classic tiki cocktails that uses sherry. Made with a potent mix of rum, gin and brandy at the base, with fresh citrus, orgeat (an almond milk syrup) and a hefty float of nutty, briny sherry on top, this tropical cocktail has unparalleled depth.
This variation on Sangria swaps the red wine for savory, salty fino sherry. Balanced with tart, fresh plums, orange slices and a touch of orange liqueur, this delightfully simple recipe may become your new favorite way to make Sangria come summer.
Lustau Fino Sherry
From Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book, this low-proof stunner is like a Martini made with sherry instead of gin. Almost savory on the palate (especially with an olive as garnish), this is the perfect drink for when you don’t want to indulge in high-proof cocktails but still want something dry.
Created in the 1890s by German bartender Louis Eppinger, this classic cocktail is a true oddball. Like the Coronation, the Bamboo has a similar structure to a Martini, albeit drier, and more savory. Made with equal parts dry sherry and dry vermouth, the cocktail is the kind of drink you’d want to sip on a crisp autumn day with a fatty cut of meat or a dry-aged rib eye.
Created in the 1860s at the Waldorf Astoria, this classic aperitif is like a less boozy Manhattan. Made with a full measure of sherry—in lieu of whiskey—this forgotten masterpiece is luxuriously velvety and decadently rich.