I know a cocktail is well balanced when I sip it and want a second one. If I start mixing it regularly and talking about that, it means it’s a “good” one. But if I decide to restock my homemade falernum bottle, just to have it available for that specific cocktail, that means that cocktail is heaven sent.

This is the case of Solera. Created by mixologist Dominic Venegas, currently bartending at Smuggler’s Cove —a not-to-be-missed rum bar in San Francisco—, this cocktail is the perfect combination of Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera and sherry, with the spicy notes of falernum.

Santa Teresa 1796 is totally aged by the artisanal solera method and sherry is aged by the same means, hence the name: Solera. In Spanish the world solera has at least two meanings. Solera is an ageing system and also a word to mean class, tradition, character, long pedigree.

In the case of Solera, the cocktail, it has two spirits aged by solera and has a lot of solera too: it is smooth, classy, complex and very elegant. This is a must. Sip it once and you will fall for it.

I found this cocktail in Left Coast Libations, the book by Ted Munat, who suggests Dominic may be “a spirits god.” If you are going to judge him by his Solera, then he is.

Dominic recipe calls for John D. Taylor’s Velvet falernum, but since I’m becoming a fan of homemade syrups, I use my own. Dominic also suggests garnishing with orange peel, but since I have plenty of Meyer lemons, I used lemon peel instead. Salud!

1 ¾ oz Ron de Venezuela Santa Teresa 1796
1 ½ oz sherry
½ oz falernum

Stir all the ingredients with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.



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