Like when pink dusk meets the rays of a spring day, the combination of Spanish and French ingredients can create some of the most delicious and attractive victuals. The AM/PM Sherry does exactly this. It is a light, subtle cocktail that enhances each of its elements.
We first stumbled across the AM/PM Sherry in Rebekah Peppler’s Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way: A Recipe Book. The cocktail marries France’s Lillet Blanc with light Sherry (either fino or manzanilla will do) and makes us think of late May in Biarritz or San Sebastian as the heat begins to unpack and we relax to watch the sun set behind the Atlantic.
We made one change to Peppler’s recipe, changing out the simple syrup for a drop of honey. It limits the sweetness of the cocktail, but adds to the melange of subtle flavors that work so well together.
Lustau’s Manzanilla Papirusa has notes of sea air and chamomile on the nose. Bright, fresh, and bone dry on the palate, it is a delicate and refreshing Manzanilla that comes from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a fishing town on the estuary of the Guadalquivir river. And it really is the ideal fortified wine for the AM/PM Sherry.
- 1 1⁄2 oz. dry, light sherry (such as fino or manzanilla)
- 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
- 1⁄2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- Small drop of honey
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Soda water
- Grapefruit peel, for garnish
To make the cocktail, in a shaker filled with ice, combine the Sherry, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit juice, small drop of honey, and bitters. Cover and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker feels cold and has light perspiration. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, top with soda water, and finish with the grapefruit peel.