Alberto Fernández, mixologist at Momus, one of the best bars in Spain, prepares three recipes with local ingredients: try to do them at home!
"If Spain is known for something, it's for its quality ingredients. Its fortified wines are appreciated and admired all over the world, almost all bars have cocktails with fortified wines on their menus and that is magnificent. Even the writer and poet Lord Byron mentions it regularly, this is not new," explains Alberto Fernández, the mixologist whose bar Momus has already won numerous awards in the year it's been open in Madrid. That includes the award for the best cocktail menu at FIBAR, the sector's most important fair, held every year in Valladolid. Fernández has a impressive career in the cocktail world including a experience as head bartender in Michelin-starred restaurante Saddle in Madrid. Momus is his most personal project
Fernández highlights Spain's strength in "the use of wood and barrels in spirits such as rum, whisky, and gin:" this is the importance of sherry casks. As for sherry wines, this bartender considers them "very versatile ingredients, perfect for dry cocktails such as a Negroni or a Manhattan. It can also be used in cocktails that are fresher and made with aromatic herbs.
But it's not only Spain that can leave a mark on cocktails through wines, liqueurs, and spirits. "The most interesting thing we could all do is to play with vegetables and fruits from all over Spain. We can use eggplants from Aranjuez and tropical fruit from the Canary Islands. If seasonality is important, we make sure that the product we're using is in perfect conditions and gives us its real flavor, in other words: the tomato should taste like a tomato." Here are his three cocktail ideas for this summer:
⁃ 10 ml Fino Inocente from Valdespino winery in Jerez
⁃ 45 ml dry vermouth (González Byass or a different Spanish brand
if you prefer)
⁃ 10 ml dandelion cordial
⁃ 2 dashes orange bitter
"This is an aperitif cocktail with little alcohol. It transports us to the lower Guadalquivir, elevating sherry and vermouth by combining them in this elitist cocktail"
⁃ 45 ml Bikkuk whiskey from Basque Moonshiners
⁃ 25 ml Lustau Rojo vermouth
⁃ 7 ml black olive distillate
"If Manhattan has a cocktail, what should downtown Madrid taste like? That's right, vermouth and olives. The whiskey we use is from the Basque Country, by the way."
⁃ 35 ml Ron Dos Maderas 5+5 PX from Williams & Humbert in Jerez
⁃ 35 ml eggplant molasses
⁃ 15 ml plum pit and marigold distillate
⁃ 10 ml coffee-infused cream
"To finish, this is a dessert cocktail, inspired by the White Russian from 'The Big Lebowski—'creamy, sweet, and spicy."