The legendary bartender makes a case for ending the night over this sherry and tequila "thinker."
Sherry and tequila cocktail
Credit: Carey Jones

As the co-owner of Leyenda in Brooklyn, which specializes in Latin American spirits — tequila, rum, and more — Ivy Mix knows how to shake a superior margarita. “But I don’t want a margarita before bedtime,” she says.

“I want that to get my night going! But to wind it down, I like rich flavors.”

Her “Palo Negro” is just that — a beautiful stirred drink that integrates layered flavors from tequila, sherry, dark rum, and more. “It's kind of our Leyenda version of a Manhattan,” says Mix; in its spirit-sherry balance, it has a similar weight and balance to the classic. “And it has all of my favorite things in it.”

Its base of Partida Tequila Reposado is aged in barrels for six months, leaving it smoother and richer than its unaged counterparts. From there, Mix adds Palo Cortado sherry — a rare variety ranking somewhere between crisp, nutty amontillado and weightier oloroso — as well as dark, molasses-rich Cruzan Black Strap Rum.

A sparing measure of the Cognac-based orange liqueur Grand Marnier and a demerara syrup round it out. Finally, a spritz of orange oil adds a burst of complementary brightness.

“It works as a nightcap because it’s rich and robust,” she says — a complex drink to linger over, spend some time with.

“It’s a real dark thinker.”

Palo Negro

2 ounces Partida Tequila Reposado

1 ounce Palo Cortado Sherry

1/2 ounce Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier

1/2 teaspoon demerara syrup*

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Stir until very well-chilled, and strain into a coupe or a Nick and Nora glass. Squeeze a disc of orange peel over the top, and add to glass.

Demerara syrup:

1/2 cup demerara sugar

1/4 cup water

Heat water to a near-boil. Stir in sugar until dissolved.