The Velvet Touch Cocktail

The velvet touch cocktail
Photo by Dominic Episcopo

Courtesy Dave Castillo, bar manager, Truss & Twine, Palm Springs, CA. 

This straightforward drink has the DNA of a classic Manhattan: rye whiskey sweetened with a bit of fortified wine. In this case, however, PX Sherry is used instead of sweet vermouth. Nonino, an herbaceous Italian amaro, adds complexity and a hint of citrus that’s nicely echoed by the orange-peel garnish.

PX Sherry 

Getting ready for Thanksgiving? Pick up a bottle of Pedro Ximénez Sherry, often shorthanded simply as “PX,” and pour it twice. You can make the Velvet Touch cocktail to sharpen appetites before dinner, and offer small pours of PX afterward with dessert. PX Sherry is a sweet fortified wine from Spain’s Sherry triangle. It’s usually dark and viscous, with raisin, prune and chocolate-like notes that pair well with the last course.
  • 2 ounces Redemption Rye
  • ¾ ounce Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
  • ¼ ounce Hidalgo Pedro Ximénez Sherry
  • Orange peel, for garnish

In mixing glass, combine all ingredients except garnish with ice. Stir well, then strain into chilled coupe glass. Twist orange peel over top of drink to express its oils. Garnish drink with peel.

Published on October 25, 2017
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She’s the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip., NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening and Cocktails With a Twist, released August 2019. Email:

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