During his visit to New Zealand, Boris focused on the different types of Sherry produced by Gonzalez Byass and how they should be served, as well practical advice on how to effectively use different styles of sherry to make innovative and edgy cocktails. Boris demonstrated three different classic cocktails during the masterclass and his recipes are below. The cocktails were all served in the Riedel Bar Collection Nick and Nora glass – a stemmed glass for an elegant and classy cocktail.
- 45ml Black Robin Rare Gin
- 25ml Tio Pepe
- 10ml Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX
- 5ml Maraschino Liqueur
- 2 dashes of Lavender bitters
- Orange zest as a garnish
- 50ml Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso
- 30ml Scotch Blended Whisky
- 15ml Agave Syrup
- 2 dashes Orange bitters
- Pinch of salt
- 50ml Tio Pepe
- 30ml Gonzalez Byass La Copa Vermouth
- Dash of Orange bitters
The products highlighted are all available from Negociants New Zealand including a new product, Gonzalez Byass La Copa Sherry Vermouth.
Gonzalez Byass revived the tradition of making Red Vermouth using original recipes from the winery’s archive dating back to the 19th Century. Vermouth La Copa is made from the distinguished Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez soleras, blended together with a special selection of eight botanicals including wormwood, savory, clove, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelic root and cinchona bark. This has resulted in intense spiced aromas with an elegant, yet seductive, bitterness on the finish. It is perfect served chilled as an aperitif on its own or with soda and ice and ideal of course in cocktails.
Negociants New Zealand was invited to send a trade representative to Spain to visit the wineries of Gonzalez Byass and The Feria in May 2018 and Stephen Morris from Avida was the very lucky person to take up this unique travel experience.
Following is his summary of the trip:
As we walked into the Feria, Dani looked back at me questioningly. Yes. This was it - and it was everything one had hoped for and more. The lights, the smells, the people, the women in flamenco dress, the horses, the carriages with drivers in prim uniforms, the yellow-brown soil, just starting to dry out from the overnight watering. But I have got ahead of myself.
The Asia-Pacific Gonzalez Byass trip to Jerez for the Feria 2018 began in Barcelona on a Thursday. We met each other, had a fine seafood dinner, and a few post-prandial gins.
Friday saw a visit to Vilarnau, the cava producer. A tour of the vineyard and winery, a tasting, and a big lunch ~ this was the first of a trend. Most remarkable here was the experimental fermentation of small batches from specific vineyards in amphora, made from clay from those same vineyard sites.
And then to the airport and a flight to San Sebastian ~ Donostia and the luxury of the Maria Cristina hotel. Opulent is a poor descriptor. Xavi, our host and the Regional Sales Director (Asia-Pacific) for Gonzalez Byass, led us on a tapas tour, followed by kilos of beef and a 2012 Beronia graciano. A digestif or two (gin) may also have been enjoyed.
After a hands-on cooking class at the Mimo cooking school, including a tour of the markets, we departed for Logroño, the capital of Rioja. For dinner, a tapas tour with a difference ~ each bar specializing in one dish, a glass of wine, and on to the next. After gin nightcaps it appeared to be bedtime.
Next morning saw us travel to Bodegas Beronia and their 31000 barrel cellar, complete with Gregorian chanting. More innovation was on show with a mixed barrel tasting: American vs French vs a mix of American staves and French ends - the American boldness tempered by the French elegance. And of course, no winery tour and tasting would be complete without a big lunch ~ and this was no exception. With Nomad whisky and Lepanto brandy to finish.
The old town of Toledo was our dinner destination, after a sleepy bus ride. I rose early the next morning to explore the cobbled city. I walked in a circle once and found myself outside the city walls but still found the hotel before our 10am departure.
An hour away we were met at Finca Constancia with a delightful glass of 6 - a faintly fizzy sweet muscat. More experimentation was evident in the rows of malbec, zinfandel, montepulciano et al lining the driveway - each with their own dedicated hi-tech tank for fermentation. Our tour had a tasting (with an excellent 2017 Parcela 52 verdejo) and a lunch. This was in danger of becoming a weighty habit.
That night in Madrid started with a drink at La Venencia - an old sherry bar with 5 barrels only. Cash, no cards. No photos! Dinner was inside due to the fastest and heaviest downpour I’ve seen. And then some gins to finish.
The fast train got us to Jerez mid-afternoon and we drove out to Finca Moncloa, a Gonzalez Byass property dedicated to red wine, including a sweet red from the Tintilla de Rota grape.
Dinner that night was in the Gonzalez Byass caseta in the heart of the Feria. The first impressions I gave above were enhanced with plenty of icy cold Tio Pepe, live music, dancing, and of course, gin.
Wednesday saw us tour the mini village (7-8 hecatres) that is Gonzalez Byass in Jerez. We looked at the stills, the signed barrels. We watched part of the Tio Pepe Challenge, the international cocktail competition, which included, later in the night, pouring with a venencia.
There was, of course, a tasting - with the highlight an amazing añada 1987 - intense salinity, orange peel, rich but light, vibrant, complexity plus.
This was to be overshadowed after dinner, when, as the flamenco was danced, a Chinese porcelain spoon was set in front of each guest. Molasses-thick, unctuous, date, dried fig, chocolate, with incredible length, mouth-filling but not cloying - 1903 moscatel.
After that, all that is left to say is a big thank you to Negociants NZ and to Gonzalez Byass for the generous trip of a lifetime and some incredible vinous memories. 1903!
Stephen Morris – Avida Bar, Wellington