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This Is the Best Keepsake to Smuggle Home From Spain

By Talia Baiocchi

Aug 8, 2016

From the September/October 2016 issue

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

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“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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