Rebujito, Manchester style
You may have come across the Rebujito sherry cocktail. A staple of the spring Ferias, this sweet fizzy concoction is a blend of Fino or Manzanilla, 7 Up and ice. Not something I’m crazy about to be honest – too sweet for me, and in a tight flamenco dress I definitely don’t need to fill up on bubbles! But a couple of weeks ago, in Manchester of all places, I tried a Rebujito with a twist.
Can I help you choose something from the wine list?
It’s OK I’ve found the page I was looking for…
Sherry? Do you know anything about sherry?
Yes thanks, a little bit. I’ll take a glass of the Tres Palmas please.
Oh OK, I guess you do!
So began my visit to Iberica’s new Manchester outpost. I was a bit early for my meeting, so I got chatting with Carlos behind the bar, who also furnished me with some meltingly fabulous jamon to nibble with my Tres Palmas. Inevitably we got to talking about how we convert non-sherry drinkers to sherry lovers – not always an easy sell in his experience. We talked about pitching Oloroso to whisky lovers, a cheeky Fino for a low-risk aperitif with almonds or olives – you know, the usual ploys. But the after work crowd loves a cocktail, so Carlos reckons that’s the way in: sherry by stealth. Would I mind trying something he’s been playing around with, he asked. Well it would be rude not to, right?!
So this is Carlos’ take on the Rebujito – as I’ve admitted, it’s not my favourite, but Carlos tells me he’s been learning his customers’ tastes:
Brits like dry, spicy and herby
Into the shaker goes freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, lemon and lime peels, a mix of white and brown sugar and some lemon thyme. Pour in Manzanilla or Fino (Carlos used La Guita Manzanilla) and shake the whole lot with ice.
Strain and pour over LOTS of ice and big chunky lemon wedges and top up with a little lemonade (a bit sharper than 7Up), stir with a stalk of lemon grass and there you have it.
Citrussy, refreshing and a little sharp. To be honest I was struggling to taste the Manzanilla, and wonder if a shot of Fino might hold its own better against the fresh lemon and lime juices. But would I drink it at Feria? Hell yes! Would I drink it after work in Manchester on a drizzly October Friday? You bet!
Note: This was not a cocktail from Iberica’s current list, but an experiment Carlos invited us to try. However, my companion and I reckon it should definitely have a future on the list!