Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Solera

Solera is an aging system used for certain wines, beers, rums, brandies, even vinegars.  Solera aging is a fractional blending system done in a manner which results in a finished product that is an average of ages.  (The solera is also the name given to the final level of barrels in this aging system).  The solera system of aging was developed by the Spanish and Portuguese as a way to provide wines of a constant average age, as well as to ensure a certain homogeneity of product over different vintages.  Pretty cool process! 

Here's a rich, rum-based cocktail, perfect for these cold December nights.  Bittersweet and balanced, with notes of bitter chocolate, cinnamon, orange zest, coffee & burnt sugar.  Subtle earthiness with herbal notes on the finish.  This cocktail uses two fantastic products that utilize the Solera aging system:  Santa Teresa rum, and Gonzlaez Bypass sherry.

1.75 oz. Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum
.5 oz. Amaro CioCiaro
.5 oz. Gonzalez Bypass Solera 1847 Sherry
2 dashes of Winter Bitters*
Stir well with ice
Coat a frozen coupe glass with oils from an orange peel; discard peel
Strain drink into the prepared Coupe glass
Garnish:  take another orange peel, flame it over surface of cocktail; drop it in

Additional garnish if you're feeling fancy (and fussy):  1 skewered cherry, soaked overnight in a Spanish brandy

*Winter Bitters:  combine 2 parts Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate bitters with 1 part Angostura Bitters


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