Whiskey Sherry Cocktail

Whiskey Sherry Cocktail

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It’s been a few months since I last wrote about a cocktail. Alex and I have found a new one to share with you – this delicious Whiskey Sherry Cocktail. Just in time for National Cocktail Day!

Last summer, on a rare occasion that we went up to Philadelphia (and without Amelia to boot), I had a delicious cocktail that had whiskey and sherry. I should have snapped a picture of the ingredients list, but alas, I did not. So I spent the next few months, off and on, searching for cocktail recipes that involved whiskey or bourbon and sherry. We drink and enjoy bourbon in particular and cocktails in general, but I’m no mixologist; I wasn’t going to just try to cobble a drink recipe together.

Recently I finally found a cocktail to try. This cocktail is lightly sweetened and slightly nutty, and definitely delicious.

I’ve adapted this cocktail lightly from Smoke Signals, which is this drink poured over smoked ice. I thought smoked ice was interesting in theory, but smoke is for barbecue, not drinks, in the Konkel household.

This cocktail has whiskey, sherry, a little lemon juice, and a pecan-flavored simple syrup. The pecan simple syrup adds a slightly nutty flavor that compliments the sherry and whiskey, and is easy to make; the recipe for the syrup will yield enough for several drinks, and it smells wonderful as you make it. (Afterward, you can eat candied pecans!) However, if you don’t want to make pecan syrup, you can use regular simple syrup (we have; still delicious), or honey (which can freeze up in cold liquid, so shake first, then add ice to the shaker), or sugar (I’d start with 1 tablespoon sugar, rather than 3 tablespoons simple syrup). I bet maple syrup would be an easy swap too, though it would impart a slightly different flavor.

I’ve made this cocktail with both bourbon and rye whiskey; both are delicious. If you’re used to drinking dry (unsweetened) drinks, you might find this kind of sweet – but not so sweet that you can’t tell you’re drinking alcohol. I tried to cut back on the syrup once (too tart) and on the lemon juice (too unbalanced), so I’ve kept the proportions the same as in the original.

whiskey sherry cocktail, in two rocks glasses

You taste the sherry in this cocktail but it isn’t overpowering; if you don’t like sherry, however, this cocktail isn’t for you. I used an Amontillado, which is a medium sherry, brown in color. My original backup would have been a Manzanilla sherry, which would be a little lighter. But, now I think I would try an Oloroso, which is darker. However, I haven’t tried either in this cocktail. Sherry is a fortified wine, with an alcohol content only slightly higher than wine; leftovers will need to be corked and stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks. (We didn’t have an issue with that, since we enjoyed this cocktail!)

Want other bourbon or whiskey drinks? Try this Bourbon Cranberry Cocktail, Milk Punch, or a Bourbon Cherry Crush.

Whiskey Sherry Cocktail
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
17 mins

This delicious cocktail is nutty and slightly sweet, without being dessert. 

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Author: Leona Konkel
Pecan Syrup (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped and lightly toasted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon (70 milliliters/ 5 tablespoons)
  • 1.5 ounces sherry (45 milliliters/3 tablespoons) (I used Amontillado, but Manzanilla (lighter) or Oloroso (darker) may be ok too)
  • 0.5 ounces lemon juice (15 milliliters/1 tablespoon)
  • 1.5 ounces pecan syrup (45 milliliters/ 3 tablespoons; may use regular simple syrup, maple syrup, or honey instead)
  • ice
Pecan Syrup
  1. Combine pecans, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for about 12 minutes, until syrup tastes like pecans. (It will become brown well before this.) Strain out pecans, then chill syrup until cold. Yields: about 14 cocktails (or 7 batches of the recipe below)

  1. Combine whiskey, sherry, pecan syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. (You can also stir this cocktail if you'd prefer.) Shake until cold. Strain into 2 glasses. I like to have this with a large ice cube.

Recipe Notes

If you'd rather make two rather strong drinks, use: 3.75 ounces whiskey, 2.25 ounces sherry, .75 ounces lemon juice, and 2.25 ounces syrup. Serve with a large ice cube. And then don't plan on drinking anything else. 

Store leftover sherry corked in the refrigerator. Use within a few weeks. 


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