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topped up with the following year's

wine production, and this process is

repeated year after year. This 'trickle

down' process of repeated blending

is called the 'solera', and it means that

in every bottle a tiny part of the liquid

will be hundreds of years old.

Sherry houses are rightly proud of their

soleras. Not only do they smooth out vintage

di erences with their repeated mixing, but

they also give the wineries their house style,

developed and re ned over the decades, or,

in the case of Tio Pepe, centuries.

Ripe for mixing

González Byass, which has been operating

since Manuel María González began making

wine in the 1830s, has had longer than most

to establish its style. González was helped by

his uncle José, who worked long and hard to

create a solera of great  no. González used

to call it the 'Solera de Tio Pepe' - Uncle Joe's

Solera. And it was his work (and his name) that

went on to create what Jeremy Clarkson might

call The Most Famous Sherry… In The World.

But it's not all about the top-end - or even

neat sherry. One of the aspects of the Feria

in Jerez is that sherry is qua ed, not analysed;

enjoyed, rather than treated with chinstroking

reverence. And it's certainly true that

bartenders in the UK are starting to  nd ways

of mixing it beyond its essential role in any

Bloody Mary worth its celery salt.

"The Tiojito is super-refreshing and

certainly suited to hot weather," says Sam

Clements, head bartender at Mark's Bar, Soho.

"For the summer I've experimented further

with  no in cocktails, working towards

something really refreshing. I've found that

the dry  nos accompany gin and citrus

very well, so I'm looking to combine these

into something simple, with a little twist. At

the end of the day I certainly don't want to

mask the Ÿ avour of Tio Pepe!"

I

f you ever go to the giant 'ferias',

or fairs, in Andalucia (Jerez and

Seville are reckoned to be the

best) then two things will strike

you. First, the assault on the

senses that comes with nonstop

Ÿ amenco music and brightly

coloured, swirling dresses; second, everyone

is drinking sherry.

Bottles of Tio Pepe (and its famous 'bottle

guitarist' logo) are everywhere, and the stu

Ÿ ows like water during the celebrations. It

adds tang to the twang of guitar strings; a

bone-dry, citrusy zip that seems the very

essence of the rolling chalk hills outside Jerez,

from where it originates.

The vineyards here - splashes of green on

the dust-and-ochre landscape of southern

Andalucia - are planted with the Palomino

grape. Don't worry if you haven't heard of it,

it hasn't gone global for the simple reason

that it is a variety with the personality of a

Mondeo-driving accountant. But what it

lacks in Ÿ avour, it makes up for in tanginess

- and this, not Ÿ avour, is what's needed to

make good sherry.

All about the fl or

The key thing about sherry, particularly  no

sherry, is that its Ÿ avour doesn't really come

from the grapes, but from yeast. After the

white wine is made, it is left in barrel, where a

layer of frothy white yeast (Ÿ or) forms on the

surface. If you crossed your Pinot Grigio with

Guinness, this is what it would look like.

OK, so it's not exactly photogenic, but the

Ÿ or is central to what sherry is all about: it

devours all the sugar in the wine, making it

super-dry in the process, and it gives sherry

its characteristic bready, tangy Ÿ avour.

It's more complicated than this though.

Sherry is made by blending the wine of many,

many years together. When wine is taken

out of a barrel to be bottled, the barrel is IN JEREZ SHERRY IS QUAFFED, NOT

ANALYSED; ENJOYED, RATHER THAN

TREATED WITH CHIN�STROKING REVERENCE

Do It Yourself:

Two to try at home

BEGINNER: The Tiojito

With summer approaching, we can all do with a few

more interesting long drinks in our repertoire, and Tio

Pepe's take on the classic Andalucian rebujito is easy,

fun and di� erent.

Just mix 100ml of Tio Pepe over ice with

100ml of lemonade, add a slice of lemon

and a couple of sprigs of mint, and you

have the authentic long drink of an

Andalucian summer

ADVANCED: The Young Cuban, by

Ally Martin, Peg + Patriot

Fino contributes a wonderful note of

freshness to any drink that you add it to,

especially a sour. In this drink, the sherry

really plays on the fresh, almost savoury

quality of the dill and makes for a lovely

fresh summer drink.

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca

20ml lemon

15ml orgeat

10ml Tio Pepe

4 sprigs of dill

Shake and

double

strain into

a cocktail

glass

lacks in Ÿ avour, it makes up for in tanginess

- and this, not Ÿ avour, is what's needed to

The key thing about sherry, particularly  no

sherry, is that its Ÿ avour doesn't really come

white wine is made, it is left in barrel, where a

layer of frothy white yeast (Ÿ or) forms on the

surface. If you crossed your Pinot Grigio with

OK, so it's not exactly photogenic, but the

devours all the sugar in the wine, making it

super-dry in the process, and it gives sherry

It's more complicated than this though.

Ally Martin, Peg + Patriot

Fino contributes a wonderful note of

freshness to any drink that you add it to,

especially a sour. In this drink, the sherry

really plays on the fresh, almost savoury

quality of the dill and makes for a lovely

fresh summer drink.

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca

20ml lemon

15ml orgeat

10ml Tio Pepe

4 sprigs of dill

Shake and

double

promotion

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