The spirit sherry takes its name from the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. In 1725 an Irishman by the almost comically stereotypical name of Patrick Murphy founded the sherry company that would be taken over by the Domecq family.
In 1814 the Scotsman John James Ruskin combined with Pedro Domecq and Henry Telford to found Ruskin, Domecq, and Telford, the sherry-importing business that would make Ruskin and his son John, the critic, rather fabulously wealthy.
In 1994 Pedro Domecq combined with Allied Lyons (itself the product of a merger between Allied Breweries and J. Lyons and Co., a catering, restaurant, and hotel group) to form Allied Domecq.
In 2005 Allied Domecq was acquired by Pernod Ricard SA. Late that year, Pernod announced that it was spinning off the restaurant arm of what had been Allied Lyons – including Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins – to a consortium of 3 US private equity firms: Thomas H. Lee Partners, The Carlyle Group, and Bain Capital LLP.
The Domecq name (which can still be found on certain brands of sherry) remains in the hands of Pernod Ricard SA, the descendent of the Pernod Fils company (founded on the production of absinthe), which owns the Seagram name and has most recently acquired Absolut Vodka.