Tabanco Internacional

Tabanco Internacional

Recipe by Michael Buonocore


  • 1 1/4 oz. Vermut Rojo Lustau
  • 1/2 oz. Península Palo Cortado Sherry
  • 1/2 oz. Rhum Clement 6 Year Grande Reserve
  • 1 Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz. Tepache Syrup*
  • 1/4 oz. Marie Brizard Apry
  • 9 drops Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

Preparation: Shake, 2x Strain, 5.5 oz. sherry glass, 5 drops of Gazpacho Oil** to garnish.

*Tepache Syrup

  1. Wash pineapple thoroughly.
  2. Discard frond. Set aside rinds and core.
  3. Cube pineapple fruit, place in glass container.
  4. Cut rinds and core into small-sized pieces.
  5. Then, cover with three cups water in pot.
  6. Boil for ten minutes, then add 1 1/2 oz. cinnamon bark and one whole nutmeg, crushed. (nutmeg can be crushed with sturdy hand juicer).
  7. Boil 2 more minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and strain through chinois.
  9. Mix 2:1 with Demerara sugar:spiced pineapple water.
  10. Rest over retained pineapple flesh for two days.
  11. Strain through coffee filter-lined chinois.

**Gazpacho Oil


  • 1 lb. ripe, red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1/2 oz. Italian frying Cubanelle or green Anaheim pepper cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cucumber, about 2 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1/2 oz Chareau Aloe Vera Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vinagre de Jerez Solera 1/24
  • scant 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, More if Watery when Producing

Preparation: Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and Chareau in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

With the motor running, add the vinegar and 1.5 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. *If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.

Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, around 4-5 hours.

Gently stir gazpacho before pouring into dropper bottle. Keep refrigerated.

Garnish: **Gazpacho Oil

Glassware: 5 1/2 oz.

Cocktail Inspiration:

Earlier in the 2018, one of my favorite co-workers and I were sharing cocktails still in the early stages of research and development. I was thoroughly excited for the opportunity; I trusted her palette and was excited to hear her critiques on what were still seedlings of cocktails. Near the end of the session, I presented a lil’ ditty I had kicking around my brain that I was sure she would find interesting (as a fellow sherry fan). It was pretty much a sherry-driven Hotel Nacional, with a three way split between Pedro Ximenez, Amontillado, and Fino, if my memory serves me right. The Hotel Nacional is an all-time favorite classic of mine, and I remember thinking the subtle stone fruit (apricot) accent would go swimmingly with sherry. I knew it had promise when all I received in response was, “Interesting, you should think of submitting that to the Lustau Competition later this year.”

Fast forward to now, along with some tinkering and significant amounts of reading, and the Tabanco Internacional takes the stage. Like the beginning stages, this is essentially a sherry-Hotel Nacional. However, instead of three separate sherries from three separate bottles, I chose the Vermut rojo for it’s blend of Pedro Ximenez and Amontillado sherries in combination with the Península Palo Cortado to bridge the gap between Amontillado and Oloroso. Rounding out the base is the Rhum Clement Grande Reserve 6 Year Agricole, something that just seemed to make sense to me with it’s depth, flavor profile, and texture. Also, I thoroughly enjoy agricole/sherry/vermouth situations.

From there, it was pretty much straight forward. In place of the traditional pineapple juice or syrup, I wanted to incorporate the baking spices of a Tepache Syrup I had worked with in the past. The flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon modify the base nicely, and the texture is pure silk. Lime, because A) if it’s not broken, don’t fix it; and B) I enjoy vermouth-driven daiquiris from time to time. Marie Brizard’s Apry for it’s round juiciness and the Bitter End’s Moroccan Bitters to add the double-knot to finish lacing up the shoe.

When it came time for the garnish, I was reminded of all the articles I had read regarding Andalusian gazpacho. I omitted the onion/garlic because I thought it would overpower the cocktail as a whole. But, my goal was to feature the bones of the gazpacho as a visually striking and delicious tease before diving head first into the drink. Liqueurs in “cooking” have always held a special place in my mind, and combining the Chareau with the oil seemed to make perfect sense based on it’s ingredients.

Lastly, I also learned about Tabancos while delving into sherry culture, and they reminded me of the Japanese Izakaya (one of my favorite “bar” environments.) When riffing on classics, I believe it is important to not riff too far from the name, and Tabanco was the perfect fit in place of Hotel. If you travel from the bottom of the recipe to the top (Morocc0: bitters/apricots, Mexico: limes/tepache, Martinique: Rhum, Spain: Sherry, Vermouth, Garnish), you are truly encountering international flavors.

Thank you, from my good heart to yours, the Tabanco Internacional.