How to cook, eat and drink like you’re in Spain, from Chris Johns, Sharp’s special Spanish correspondent. Check out the rest of Sharp’s Entertain Like A Chef: Spanish Edition series.
Michael Weber, barman at Toronto’s renowned Bar Isabel, shared two cocktails inspired by his trips to Spain. The first, a combination of sherry and sparkling rose, is a light and refreshing way to start an evening, but wouldn’t be out of place at a celebratory brunch. The second is a bit more fuerte.
2oz croft pale cream sherry
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
1 egg white.
2 oz Codorniu Raventos rose cava (or another pink sparkling wine)
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Pour the cava into a 8-10oz glass, set aside.
In a cocktail shaker add all other ingredients. Dry shake (this is done without ice, where egg whites are used). Add ice, shake vigorously, strain into glass with the cava basement. Watch it foam up and garnish with the bitters across the surface of the cocktail.
1 ½ oz El-Dorado 12yr rum
¾ oz Martini Bianco vermouth
½ oz LBV port (Graham’s is nice)
¼ oz Amaro Sibilla (you could also substitute with Campari)
2 dashes angostura bitters.
Combine all ingredients (save for lemon zest) in a mixing glass, add ice, stir well for 30secs or 30 revolutions, whichever comes first. Strain into a 10-12oz old fashioned glass filled with a perfect 2 inch cube (preferred) or regular ice.
Take lemon zest and twist over surface of cocktail so the oils from the skin are shimmering on top. Throw the zest inside and enjoy!
There’s no better way to take advantage of summer than on a patio. Case in point: The DEQ Terrace and Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton is perhaps the most beautiful patio in Toronto, an oasis with an unobstructed view of the CN Tower. It’s nestled between contrasting greenery and accompanied by an open-air firepit with live entertainment every night. But the quintessential ingredient for an awesome patio is of course, booze. More specifically, according to The Ritz’s Wine Director, Taylor Thompson, it’s sangria – the beverage of the summer. It’s the perfect drink for entertaining – diverse and easy to please. “Sangria is a great drink for entertaining because you can add whatever you want to the blend. Just like a party,” he says. Add whatever you desire to the blend, as long as it’s delicious and boozy. Thompson suggests using lighter, less tannic wines such as rose or pinot noir that work well with fruits, and go down smooth. “When you’re making sangria and when people are drinking sangria, I think the walls are down, people are willing to accept that it’s sangria.” Good advice.
Bottle of inexpensive Rioja.
1 apple, diced
1 peach, diced
2 1/2 oranges
1 1/2 lemon
½ cup sugar
1/4 cup of Spanish Brandy
Add diced fruit to a big pitcher or bowl.
Squeeze oranges and lemon with a citrus reamer. If you don’t like pulp use a strainer. Keep juice off to the side.
Cut into slices oranges and lemon into slices. Dissolve sugar into the orange and lemon juice. Add fresh juice with the sugar, orange and lemon slices, a bottle of red wine and a cinnamon stick to the pitcher or bowl and mix.
Let macerate for 30 – 40 minutes (soak in fruit with skins).
Add soda, Brandy and crushed ice. Then mix.
Serve cold, obviously.