The Solera Club

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You may or may not have known this, but I like making cocktails out of wine. Or things that were once wine. Or things that were made from wine. However you want to say it, I like making cocktails out of wine. So when I saw that there was a cocktail competition coming up that called for the use of sherry (a type of wine made from white grapes grown around the town of Jerez, Spain and fortified with brandy), I was like, “I’m all over this.”

So I reached for the Morgenthaler Standby Formula book and grabbed this old chestnut. First, I bolstered the sherry with something bitter, put in a touch of something sweet, and finished it with something absinth-y. Then I dumped that one down the sink and tried about ten other combinations. The result is this cocktail, The Solera Club.

I like wine-based cocktails, because they don’t punch you in the face the way, say, a 94-proof gin-based cocktail is going to. This means these drinks are going to be more versatile, and drinkable on more occasions than a big spirit-driven monster. A lot of my customers like to end the night with one of these low-proof sippers, but I take a more European tack myself and delight in them during the late afternoon, noshing on Marcona almonds and watching the sidewalk traffic without getting falling-down drunk.

So in the spirit of early autumnal afternoon sipping and enjoying the sunshine while it still lingers, here’s the recipe:

soleraclub

The Solara Club Print Me

  • 2 oz/60 ml sherry (cream for a sweeter, rounder drink, dry sherry such as an amontillado for a more drier, more austere drink)
  • 1 oz/30 ml Cynar
  • ½ oz/15 ml creme de peche
  • 1 tsp/5 ml absinthe
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
  2. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. If you're going the cream sherry route, I'd recommend garnishing with a lemon twist as I've done here. If you're using the drier, nuttier sherries, try using an orange twist.

Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com

14 Replies to “The Solera Club”

  • Tim says:

    Great drink Jeffrey. Just tried it. I got the Cynar at Cask in San Francisco on Third St. Their website is caskstore.com. If you haven’t tried this you really have too! Thanks again.

  • Lexi says:

    I don’t normally comment on blogs, but the last two days have been filled with a witchy amount of Cynar and I feel like I have to tell someone about it. I saw a bottle of the stuff for the first time yesterday morning at a small coffee bar in northern Italy. I thought it looked weird. Last night, I was eating dinner with an Italian family and they pulled out a bottle of Cynar with the limoncello. For the past week they’ve only served limoncello. Weird coincidence. Today I decided to do a little research on the stuff. The first place I check is your blog, and bam! a cocktail with Cynar in it at the top of the page. Where is all this going to end? (Somewhere delicious I hope…)

  • Sounds absolutely delicious. I love mixing wine also. When I took over the bar at the Blacksmith, the last bar manager had ordered 17 cases of rosé so I made a cocktail to move through all of that wine. It was one of the most popular drinks on that list. I also love Cynar, which used to be available for purchase through the OLCC – it’s a shame that they’ve limited their inventory so much this past year. A pleasure to meet you a couple of weeks ago and best of luck to you, although luck might not be needed as the recipe and the name are brilliant.

  • butters says:

    finally got around to trying this drink and it was delicious! although I didn’t have the recipe in front of me and guessed on the amount of creme de peche as I basically remembered the other ingredients. I used 1/4 oz mathilde peche liqueur. Another 1/4 oz would have been overkill. Really nice drink!

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