With indoor bars being closed, quarantine could be considered a quasi-Prohibition. How fitting to find myself at the speakeasy Raised by Wolves, where bartender Tony Roehr is prepping their newest cocktail menu.
4301 La Jolla Village Drive #2030, San Diego
The Uno Ojo, he tells me, uses a lightly aged dry sherry as its special ingredient. “It gives off this deep nuttiness in the background. Mixing that with blanco tequila, cucumber, some ginger, some citrus, and putting it on nice crushed ice — kind of an adult snow cone of sorts.”
Roehr champions the revival of sherry. “It’s one of my favorite ingredients to put in cocktails. I think the clientele in La Jolla is not used to seeing sherry in cocktails and I really want to introduce that to them. Most people hear ‘sherry’ and they think cooking wine, and there’s just so much more that you can do.”
His love of sherry is rooted in an enthusiasm for the history of cocktails and spirits. “Back in pre-Prohibition times, they were drinking this very popular cocktail called a Sherry Cobbler, which is tons of muddled fruit like berries and oranges, tons of sherry and a little tiny bit of brandy. And they would put it on crushed ice.” He likens its popularity to today’s mule. “It was on every single menu… and then it disappeared, and now I think it’s finally coming back. And it’s coming back strong.”
Inspiration came from another modern-day classic cocktail, the Dos Ojos, “which is a twist off of a mule that gets tequila, ginger and cucumber. And I wanted to mix that with sherry and do like a Sherry Cobbler twist off of the Dos Ojos.”
The name also lends a visual. “Whenever people drink the ginger syrup we make, they always go ‘Whoa!’ and kind of make a face. And I say, ‘Yeah, it has a one-eye-closed kind of thing.’ So it’s Uno Ojo,” he says decidedly.
Roehr says the eye-catching, Uno Ojo “has a lot of familiar flavors in there that people are going to really like. But then adding the sherry really changes this drink up and gives it more character. It’s the one ingredient in this drink that’s very unfamiliar.”
“You’re going ‘What is that?’ and that makes you take another sip. Eventually your drink is gone and you’re ordering another one.”
Raised by Wolves’
- .75oz lime
- .75oz sweetened ginger juice
- 1oz Palomino Fino Sherry
- 1oz Ocho Plata blanco tequila
- 2-3 muddled cucumbers
Combine ingredients, shake, strain into glass, top with crushed ice, and garnish with cucumber.