Top 10 food and drink trends for 2019

Sherry cocktails

The mere mention of Sherry is enough to make many a Brit shudder with bad memories of being force fed from a dusty bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream foraged from the back of their granny’s cocktail cabinet. The wine trade has been banging the Sherry drum for years, and drinking dens like Bar Pepito in King’s Cross and Capote y Toros in South Kensington have helped to show a hipper side to the fortified wine.

More recently, Sherry has begun popping up in cocktails at trendy London bars and restaurants with alarming frequency – every bartender worth their salt will now include Sherry in at least one of their cocktails, with finos and manzanillas adding a welcome sea-air tang to apéritifs, and amontillados and olorosos giving more decadent mixed drinks an appealing nuttiness.

Sadly no longer listed on the pre-prandial section of its menu, Hawksmoor’s Tom and Jerez was a salty-sweet blend of gin, manzanilla, pear, lemon and almond, offering a snapshot of Spain in a glass. Sherry is put to good use on the new Music / Magic / Drama menu at The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, appearing in its amontillado guise alongside plum liqueur umsehu, yuzu and Lillet Blanc in the Showtime cocktail, while the punchier Only the Finest, a twist on an Old Fashioned with caramelised sesame, features Pedro Ximenez.

Helping to expand Sherry’s reach to a younger audience is hipster brand Xeco, founded by a trio of “fino fiends”, Beanie, Alexa and Polly, who are working with some of London’s top mixologists to develop innovative, on-trend Sherry-based cocktails.

The four-strong Xeco range is housed in square-shouldered bottles with funky playing card-style labels featuring famous historical figures from England and Spain, including Shakespeare and Cervantes, and bright bottlenecks in striking shades like turquoise, teal and burnt orange.

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