This drink, created by Derek Salerno of Shagbark in Richmond, Virginia, is packed with flavor, but not too much alcohol. In other words, it's ideal for pre-dinner sipping when you expect many glasses of wine to follow. The cocktail's deep, sweet, and nutty flavor comes from Madeira—look for a bottle labeled "Malmsey" to get the proper level of sweetness. The fortified wine tastes a bit like salted caramel and walnuts; the drink is brightened by shaking the Madeira with ice, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. If you're scaling up the recipe, shake no more than two cocktails at a time.
- 2 ounces (60ml) Malmsey Madeira (such as H. M. Borges Old Reserve Malmsey 10 Year or Blandy's 10 Year Malmsey)
- 1/2 ounce (15ml) simple syrup (see note)
- 1/2 ounce (15ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Add Madeira, simple syrup, and lemon to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 12 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
Cocktail shaker and strainer, fine strainer, chilled coupe glass
To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.