I just made a First Avenue (second to last recipe at the link) and I feel like I've been reintroduced to a long-lost friend. For me, the First Avenue is the raison d'etre for oloroso sherry.This particular sherry, Lustau's Don Nuño, is not a standout, but it's only $19. Pick up a bottle at any discerning wine shop in Cleveland and make yourself this drink. Or, hell, stop by my house and I'll make you one. This bottle will last me a good six or eight weeks.
The sherry itself is remarkably tart - not sweet at all as olorosos sometimes are - and it will fill your mind with toasted almonds as you exhale after tasting it. The First Avenue initially tempers the tartness with the sugar of the Cointreau (and colors the nuttines with orange) and later constricts your palate with the bitter Campari floated on top. It's like a clever machine made of flavors, a patent for a device that will automatically tip your hat when you nod, a manservant of dimestore novelties, all in a glass.
OK, it's a mixed drink. But I'm going to be making them until this bottle's gone.