The Drinks Cabinet

Things to make with Harveys Bristol Cream

Harveys Bristol Cream

Undeserved of its reputation of being an old fashioned booze, found lurking at the back of your grans dusty pantry, we present to you Harveys Bristol Cream, a sherry booze way tastier than you thought you remembered.

The Drink: Harveys Bristol Cream
History: In 1796, a chap called William Perry began shipping sherries and wines to Bristol, operating out of a cellar situated in Denmark Street. William was famous for his fine ‘Bristol Milk’, a variant of sherry that was thick, dark and sweet. Perry was joined by John Harvey, who later took over the boozy business. Harvey tinkered with the ‘Bristol Milk’ recipe and managed to come up with something even richer and tastier. Legend has it that a visiting lady aristocrat was offered a glass of ‘Bristol Milk’, and then given a snifter of Harveys new blend.
“If that is milk, then this one is cream!” she reportedly slurred.
A fanciful story, but the name stuck. Harvey trademarked the name, and Bristol Cream was born.
Interesting fact:You can still visit Harveys old cellars. At one time, the site used to be Englands only wine museum – it’s now a fancy bar called, er, Harveys Cellars, serving wines, champagnes and of course, sherries. They also serve a mean ‘Bristol Punch’.*
Tasting notes: A deep golden amber coloured booze, with tangy dried fruit aromas and wafts of candied orange, toffee and grape. On the palate, it’s velvet smooth, more-ish and mellow, with crushed almonds and earthy flavours on the finish.

Five Great Things to make with Harveys Bristol Cream.

1. Adonis

A cocktail created during the mid-1800s to celebrate the eponymous broadway musical reaching over 500 performances. Here’s the final act, just so you don’t have to sit through it. The musical looks terrible, but the drink is fine.

• 50 ml Harveys Bristol Cream
• 25 ml Red vermouth
• Dash orange bitters

Combine ingredients, stir, serve to wild applause.

2. Quarterdeck

Splice your Bristolian mainbrace (whatever that means) with this ship-shape, nautical cocktail. Sherry and rum will give you sea legs, the lime will cure your scurvy.

• 30 ml Light rum
• 10 ml Harveys Bristol Cream
• The juice of half a lime

Combine the ingredients in a tall glass, shake like a wet sea dog, stir with an oar.

3. Harveys Frosted Apple and Ginger

A punchy, punch-ish cocktail for Christmas festivities and winter shenanigans.

• 50 ml Harveys Bristol Cream
• 50 ml Apple juice
• Dash of ginger ale

Fill up a highball glass with crushed ice, pour in your Harveys and apple juice. Top up with ginger ale, and garnish with a sprig of mint and apple slices. For a festive flourish, stick a cinnamon stick in the top, like a boozy 99*.

4. Pan Sauce

Nope, not a cocktail, but a good cheffy tip for a quick sauce. Have you been frying, roasting, or searing meats? Got a load of brown, crispy stuff stuck to the bottom of them pan? Slosh in a small of Bristol Cream, stir it about a bit, and Bob’s yer uncle – a quick, easy pan sauce. 


5. Sherry Splash

Sherry and gin, together at last – with elderflower adding a floral flourish.

• 50 ml Harveys Bristol Cream
• 25 ml Gin
• 24 ml Elderflower liqueur
• Ice
• Lemon, to serve

Combine the lot in a cocktail shaker, load it up half way with ice, and give it a good old stir. Pour into your preferred receptacle, garnish with lemon. Gobble it down like a greedy gannet, bobbing in the docks.



* Hellish Southmead Boozer The Wayfarer used to serve up Bristol punches of a very different kind. It’s now been gentrified. ie, demolished.

** Mr Whippy fact: No one knows why an ice cream with a flake sticking in the top is called a flake 99. Even Cadburys admit that the origin of the name ‘has been lost in the mists of time’ (an excuse I’ve used many a time when asked to hand in overdue copy). Ice T famously sung about his inability to decide what sauce to have on his ice cream/chocco treat in this sweary hit from 1993.

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