This funky wine is more than grandma's tipple-and Adam Roelle, spirits manager for Cavalier Distributing, is aiming to bring more to the Ohio market this year. Let us help you get reacquainted.

This funky wine is more than grandma's tipple-and Adam Roelle, spirits manager for Cavalier Distributing, is aiming to bring more to the Ohio market this year. Let us help you get reacquainted.

Sherry can be used as a vermouth substitute. Veritas Tavern bartender Nicole Hollerman is constantly riffing with sherry. She's found that lighter sherries, like fino, specifically manzanilla made near Sanlucar, Spain, mix best with bourbon and tequila. "Lighter sherries have a salinity, a saltiness and a different flavor and botanicals profile than you get from vermouth," she says.

Sherry makes great cocktails. At Veritas, Hollerman serves a Gentle Gentian ($10) made with Old Forester bourbon, fino sherry, house ginger beer, Suze Saveur d'Autrefois (a bittersweet French liqueur) and egg white. "It's a spicy bourbon cocktail, but the sherry really gives it this viscosity and salinity to counter the ginger beer," she says. Look for more sherry concoctions at The Sycamore in German Village and Denmark on High in the Arena District.

You don't have to buy expensive sherry. "Most of the sherry I use is less than $15 retail," Hollerman says. "Just go to an independent store and ask a lot of questions."