House Mix

Sherry and Bourbon by Way of Berlin

To execute most recipes in a classic cocktail manual, you need a mixing tin, citrus and booze. Today, recipes are more complicated: Rife with foraged produce and bitters that take months to craft, they’re not exactly user-friendly. Enter Wine & Spirits’ House Mix: a collection of recipes and tips for the easy-to-replicate drinks that professional bartenders make at home.

Shawn Beck

In Berlin’s Mitte District, former San Francisco barman Shawn Beck tends bar behind a big plank of California redwood. He opened Redwood Bar in 2012, giving Berliners a taste of West Coast cocktail culture. “If I’m making a drink for someone at home, I’m hosting—let’s not get carried away,” he says. “I want to do something relatively simple that showcases what I do.” Hence, the Tyr’s Hand: a drink he named after the one-handed Norse god of war.

“It’s sweet enough for someone who doesn’t drink too often, but dry enough for someone more seasoned,” he comments. “And you can adjust to balance. Want extra sweetness? Add more Chartreuse. Want it drier? Add more Amontillado.”

Shawn Beck’s Tyr’s Hand

Ingredients —

2 ounces of Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1 ounce Don Zoilo Amontillado
½ ounce of Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash of Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
orange peel for garnish

Instructions —

Combine ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass and add a large ice cube. Stir. Express the orange peel over the drink and place on top of the ice cube.

Repurposing the Rusty Nail

“Think of the Tyr’s Hand as a Rusty Nail. You replace the heavy sweetness of Drambuie with Yellow Chartreuse, giving it that great herbaceous character. Sherry plays really well with Chartreuse; it cuts down the sweetness, but the tanginess from the Chartreuse is not masked.”

Simply irresistible

“Make it easy: Pour all the ingredients directly in the glass then stir it with the ice for 40 seconds. Sure, use a chilled glass—just put one in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Is the big cube necessary? No, but it’s more aesthetically pleasing.”

Building blocks

“Buffalo Trace is my go-to Bourbon. It’s not too hot and it’s not crazy-expensive—I don’t feel guilty about dumping something else into it. Bitter Truth is a good quality orange bitters. While Green Chartreuse can be a bit overpowering in cocktails, Yellow isn’t. It’s awesome. Put it in everything. Drown me with it. I use the Don Zoilo Amontillado because it’s a good value. There’s something magical about Sherry that I can’t put my finger on.”

Orange aid

“For my bar, a bottle of good orange bitters is more important than a bottle of Angostura. It’s versatile. It’s great for everything: Manhattans, Martinis, Old Fashioneds…. It doesn’t overwhelm the cocktail.”

This recipe is a W&S web exclusive.