The Vinos de Jerez cocktail competition is one of the most prestigious mixology contests in the nation, luring many of the country's the top bartenders who no longer usually compete in these things to try their hand at the prizes- trips to Jerez and scholarships to the B.A.R. course.
This year's winner was Charles Joly of Chicago, who is winning everything lately. Runners up were Todd Thrasher and Phil Ward. The other finalists read like a who's-who of American mixology.
Here is Charles Joly's winning cocktail:
Bread & Wine by Charles Joly
1 oz Lustau “Don Nuño” Dry Oloroso
1 ½ oz Balvenie Scotch Doublewood 12 year
5 dashes Absinthe (preferably Sirene Absinthe)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
¼-1/3 oz maple syrup (depending on tartness of lemons)
Fill Old Fashioned glass with ice, dash with absinthe and set aside to season.
Combine Sherry, Balvenie, lemon juice and maple syrup in mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Empty Old Fashioned glass, coating sides with absinthe. Add Kold Draft or large pieces of ice. Strain cocktail into glass. Cut a strip of orange zest using a vegetable peeler. Mist top of glass with orange oil, rub rim and place decoratively in glass. No straws please.
The runner-up recipes will be online at the Secret Sherry Society website.