This Is the Best Keepsake to Smuggle Home From Spain

In sherry country, track down a rare bottle that echoes the past

This Is the Best Keepsake to Smuggle Home From Spain

Photo by Vanessa/Flickr

“It comes from my husband’s grandfather—before the Spanish Civil War,” said Carmen Pou. In Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosia, her winery in El Puerto de Santa María—a Spanish coastal town famous for its sherry—Pou was drawing liquid from a rare relic: a tiny barrel of jerez quina. The nearly extinct aperitif is made of sherry infused with herbs and quinine. In its heyday, 80 years ago, the pre-dinner drink did double duty as an antimalaria treatment throughout southern Europe. Carmen’s winery doesn’t make it anymore, but the historic Valdespino bodega in Jerez does. Their version is warm and spicy with a walnut-y bite. It’s a bittersweet taste of a bygone era, one that—trust me on this—is worth smuggling home in your suitcase.

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Talia Baocchi is the editor-in-chief of PUNCH, an online magazine focused on wine, spirits, and cocktails. Previously, Baiocchi was the wine editor for Eater and a columnist at Wine Spectator. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, Bon Appétit, and Wine & Spirits magazine, among others. In 2013, she was named a top new talent in the food and wine world in Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” feature. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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