5@5 - You really should be drinking more sherry
November 21st, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Sherry (sherry baby!) can come out any night of the week - if you stock your bar right.

"I think that part of the appeal of sherry to cocktail bartenders is that it kind of bridges the gap between wine and spirit," says Dan Greenbaum, the bar manager of The Beagle in New York.

"Since it’s fortified and often bold in flavor and aroma for a wine, it appeals to people who are more accustomed to drinking plain spirits."

Five Reasons that Sherry is a Must-Have at the Bar: Dan Greenbaum

1. Versatility
"The common image that sherry has been trying to shake is that of grandmas drinking a sweet, syrupy dessert wine before they go to sleep. There is some great sweet sherry, usually made from Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel, but the dry stuff, which is made from the Palomino grape, can and should be drunk before and throughout a meal.

Most Fino and Manzanilla is very dry and has great acidity, which makes it a good ingredient to play with in cocktails. As a crisp aperitif, I like the classic cocktail the Adonis (orange bitters, dry sherry and sweet vermouth)."

2. History
"Sherry has a big place in the history of cocktails. Throughout the second half of the 19th century, the Sherry Cobbler - a combination of sherry, sugar, ice and fruit sipped through a straw - was probably the most popular drink in the country. The Tuxedo Cocktail, an early martini variation, features gin with sherry in place of dry vermouth.

When I’m looking for ideas in classic bar books such as The Savoy Cocktail Book, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks and The Stork Club Bar Book, sherry is a common ingredient in many drinks, before, during and after Prohibition."

3. It loves being with food
"Sherry pairs amazingly well with food. In Andalucía (a region in Spain famous for sherry), there are a few classic pairings that are classic for a reason: Fino with seafood; Amontillado with cheese, hams and Marcona almonds; Oloroso with braised oxtail.

These combinations can be transcendental, and while often people think of pairing sherry only with tapas, there are few other wines that can be paired throughout a multi-course meal in the way that sherry can."

4. It’s cheap
"Sherry offers great value behind the bar. You can get a very good bottle of sherry for less than $10, and a great bottle for not much more than that. While Fino and especially Manzanilla should be treated like white wine and had within a few days, some of the more oxidized styles such as Amontillados and Olorosos can last much longer than regular wine after opening a bottle.

Right now, I'm using a lot of Lustau sherry in cocktails. I also like stuff from Emilio Hidalgo, Barbadillo, and Gutiérrez Colosía, to name a few bodegas."

5. Not too boozy
"If you’re going to be drinking cocktails all night, sherry can be you’re friend. Whereas most spirits are at least 40% Alcohol by volume, sherry usually weighs in at about 15-20% alcohol by volume. Drinking a few sherry cocktails instead of stirred boozy drinks might keep you out of trouble."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Sip • Think

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. bruizcastro

    Sherry is not only classy but simply delicious. I always have sherry at my home and is the preferred Saturday's drink. Try it you won't regret it.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  2. sheela

    couldn't agree more! its my kinda drink that keeps me happy & outta trouble

    February 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  3. beenz

    Leave off the "sherry" part of this statement, and I'm in!

    November 23, 2011 at 11:36 am |


    November 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  5. booktopiareviews

    SUCH a variety is out there. If all you've ever done was steal the cooking sherry, try other stuff! :-)

    November 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  6. Martini

    I loathe wine but all those years of "Sherry, Niles? " causes me to crave sherry.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • amynoelle

      @Martini: agreed. If the Crane boys can't cause your sherry cravings to stir, what can?

      November 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Binky42

    lol. The first time my now-husband met my parents many years ago, they offered him a glass of sherry (since they are the old fashioned type). He accepted the sherry, and downed it in one gulp like a shot. We all tried hard not to laugh.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  8. tomcat

    Marijuana is safer: http://www.saferchoice.org/

    November 22, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  9. Jerv

    "Sherry Cobbler – a combination of sherry, sugar, ice and fruit sipped through a straw." That s sounds sooo good!

    November 22, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  10. fob

    Good Stuff! Frasier and Niles were always drinking Sherry.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Jesus

      I've never thought of Sherry as a preferred drink-it doesn't compare to a good wine.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:33 am |
      • vk

        of course, otherwise you would have turned water to sherry. ;-)

        November 22, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  11. Truth™


    I'll drink to that!

    November 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
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