In today’s paper, my Liquid Austin column explores sherry’s return to the bar shelf (or, rather, to the wine fridge), thanks to bartenders’ resurrection of the almost long-lost Spanish-made fortified wine.
It’s far more than the sweet, blended swill of octogenarian pantries, even though that’s the image it’s conjured up in popular consciousness for the last few decades. (Prohibition ruined all the good drinks everywhere.) It’s got such a romantic backstory in the rustic region of Andalusia, Spain, that when I decided to write about it last year, after seeing it again and again on bar menus, I thought Valentine’s Day would be the right time to talk about it.
Part of sherry’s history has been as a versatile component in cocktails, after all, a chapter in its past and present day that we U.S. drinkers contributed. It was the key ingredient in nineteenth-century America’s most popular cocktail, the Sherry Cobbler, which also has the neat distinction of being the drink that introduced us to the straw, and it’s getting the supporting role in a lot of modern cocktails, too. Try one this weekend with your significant other — it’s a boozy adventure meant for two.
And might I recommend you try sherry at Fino? There’s been no better place in Austin at introducing sherry to this city, which is why I chose to focus on that Mediterranean-focused restaurant in the story. But I’ve got to cap it off with a sad addendum: Fino is closing at the end of March after a nearly 10-year run with one of the best sherry programs in town. (I found out yesterday and was very bummed, to say the least.)
That means you’ve only got about a month-and-a-half left to explore the 11 sherry options there. Most are $1 for a 3 oz. pour during happy hour, a deal you can’t find anywhere else.