Don’t waste away your whole day in a hungover trance! As a public service to the hungover, every week we track down the best bartenders in America and ask them to share their favorite hair-of-the-dog remedies. This week we’ve got a twist on a traditional margarita that incorporates fortified wine.
HIS ELIXIR: GRAND TOUR
ITS ORIGINS: Sherry is a fortified wine that’s made near the southwest tip of Spain. The beverage begins as traditional wine: White grapes are fermented in tanks. But then grape spirit (hard alcohol made from distilling wine) is added. The blend is aged in North American oak barrels for at least three years. Once the sherry aging is complete, the winemakers sell the empty barrels to Scotch whisky distillers, who reuse them for aging their Scotch.
ITS HEALING POWERS: Beverage director Jared Sadoian says complex sherry is an acquired taste, but it works really well in cocktails. “Sherry has so many flavors,” he says. “You can sit and pick it apart if you want, or you can just slug it all back. It really is quite flexible as a modifier or as a base spirit. I can’t get enough of it.”
Sherry also pairs well with food, which is important at his restaurant. “Most of our diners will have a cocktail before they sit down for an elaborate tasting menu and wine,” he says. “So when we’re coming up with our drinks, we’re not necessarily trying to take the stage all by ourselves. We want drinks that are aperitif driven and are lower A.B.V. so they don’t punch you in the liver.” Those types of cocktails are also ideal for morning drinking, when your liver is still trying to recover from the night before.
For Sadoian’s Grand Tour cocktail, a loose interpretation on a margarita, he includes sherry (15 to 22 percent A.B.V.) as the base spirit and tequila as the modifier. He says they go together in the same way that vermouth and whiskey go together. To even further lower the A.B.V. of the margarita, he swaps out the traditional triple sec with a non-alcoholic sweetener, pineapple syrup. “The drink has a vague fruitiness to it, but it finishes decently dry,” he says. “It has become the most popular drink at our restaurant by a pretty large margin.”
A MAN WITH OUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND: “If you’re dealing with a hangover, you may want to just pour the drink right into your mouth from the shaker,” Sadoian says. “Then you don’t have to do the dishes.”
- 1 oz. Lustau dry Amontillado Los Arcos sherry
- ½ oz. Reposado tequila, either Herradura or Fortaleza
- ¾ oz. lime juice
- ¾ oz. pineapple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 dash Regans’ orange bitters No. 6
Make pineapple syrup: In a blender, combine 1 quart simple syrup with 1 chopped pineapple. Blend. Strain through a chinois. Store in the refrigerator. Assemble the drink: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail tin with ice. Shake. Pour into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep