There’s a tradition in Andalucia for fairs – Ferias – in the spring and summer. The format is generally the same: The Feria lasts about a week; there are corridas (bullfights) in the afternoons; it’s held at a temporary “tent city”, usually on open ground near the edge of town; dancing the “Sevillana” (Sevillana video) is encouraged; women wear Flamenco dress and there are always horses and carriages, bright colours and music.
Feria is a time for the whole town or village to let down their hair and have some good old-fashioned fun. The ferias started off as horse or cattle markets where the dealers set up tents (casetas) to entertained clients with wine and dancing. They have kept the casetas, the drinking and the dancing, but there’s not much cattle and horse dealing these days.
Traditionally Fino (or Manzanilla) is THE drink at Feria, but after a long day drinking this, especially in the heat, it can go to the head a little, so one of the best ways to pass the time (and save your head) is to sit in the shade of a caseta (small house) with a jug of “Rebujito” nearby, watching the world go by. Rebujito? Yes, Rebujito. It’s probably been around for a long time (and had many guises), but this refreshing summer drink is definitely becoming a hit (and not only at Ferias).
Rebujito comes from the spanish word “arrebujar”, which means tangle, muddle or jumble. Basically just to mix something up, and that’s all this simple, thirst-quenching, cocktail is all about. Fino or Manzanilla sherry mixed up with lemonade, a lot of ice and served up in a tall glass. Spanish people are passionate about everything, so it’s no surprise that, even with its relatively short history, nearly all local bartenders have an opinion about the Rebujito recipe: Which fino or manzanilla to use, which lemonade, the proportions, how much ice, lemon garnish? One thing they all agree upon is the lemonade. It’s the clear and fizzy kind.
In Jerez, at the Feria del Caballo, the Rebujito is usually made in a jug with a half-bottle Tio Pepe and 7-Up. I’ve done a lot of Rebujito tasting and the ratio for me is 50/50, with lots of ice, but give this drink a go and experiment with the proportions to find your perfect mix. It’s pretty good with a bit of lemon garnish but the drink is just as satisfying without it. Let us know what you think…
Justin is our Sherry wine expert, currently living in Andalusia with his wife, Lucy, while spreading the good word about Shery vinegar.