Published on August 2nd, 2016 | by Ruben0
Sherry cocktail: Rebujito
The Rebujito must be one of the simplest cocktails you can make with sherry, but one of my all-time favourites too. Arrebujar means ‘to cover up’ or ‘to tangle up’, so you could translate rebujito as ‘a little mess’ but that doesn’t do it justice. It is one of the archetypal drinks for the ferias of Andalusia. While it’s said to be invented in 1985 in Granada, it owes a lot to the Sherry Cobbler from the Victorian era – the typically British mix of Fino sherry, sparkling water, sugar, lemon juice and peeled ice.
Rebujito is a mix of Fino (or you can use Manzanilla) with some kind of white lemonade and topped with some mint. Typically you will be told to use Sprite or 7Up, or the Spanish lemon soda La Casera. Fanta Lemon will also work fine. My personal favourite is Canada Dry which adds subtle herbal notes. I understand it’s not the classic mix but a nice twist nonetheless.
The appeal of a rebujito lies in its refreshing taste. The Fino is dry and the lemonade adds the right amount of sugar without overdoing it. Contrary to most cocktails that use higher strength spirits, a Rebujito is very drinkable, especially when it’s hot. I think it has similar qualities to a white Port & tonic.
González Byass is promoting its own version of the Rebujito, called Tiojito. They use their Fino Tio Pepe of course, with 7Up. They also have Croft Twist, a pre-mixed drink which holds the middle between a Rebujito and a Hugo cocktail, including a twist of elderflower.
Different parts of Andalusia have different ways of preparing a rebujito, and each bar will add its own secret touch. Personally I mix one part of Manzanilla (a basic Tio Pepe or La Guita will do) with two parts of Ginger Ale. You can add a bit more wine if you like, and Fino is fine too for a slightly more pungent sherry note. Fill a large glass with ice cubes (the more ice, the longer it takes to melt), pour the Fino, gently top up with Ginger Ale and stir.
The mint leaves make it even fresher. A slice of lime also works well, although it brings you (too) close to a sherry mojito if you overdo it. If you’re into fruits (Pimm’s style), try adding some blueberries or other fruits.
By the way, Rebujito is a good way to end a bottle of Fino that remained a bit too long in your fridge. Even if the bottle has lost some freshness, in a Rebujito this usually passes unnoticed.