Monday, May 18, 2009

MxMo : Amaro

So this months MxMo is being held over at Chuck's site and the topic is Amaro. I didn't cross paths with Chuck when he was in town, but heard quite a tale or two.

The topic for this month is Amaro, which refers to the bitter liqueurs usually drunk as an after-meal digestive, either alone (neat or on the rocks) or in some kind of mixed drink or cocktail. They tend to all share certain characteristics -- drinking bitters are generally made of alcohol with any number of herbs, plus sugar and some kind of coloring. The word "amaro" means bitter in Italian, and although the more famous drinking bitters tend to come from Italy our amaro theme this month is most certainly not limited to that country. Amaro, amer, amargo, what have you. Italy, Spain, France, America, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland ... wherever somebody drinks a bitter liqueur, that's a source for your drink this month.

I could wholly write this bits in praise of Fernet-Branca, but instead have something else fun in mind for you. I like the process that occurs when someone is becoming a fan of something that is not in their usual taste portfolio, i.e, a bitter. Too many of us were weened on sweet and there's a whole wide world of flavors out there.

So to be obligatorily contradictory I wanted to show off a drink that I made a while back. It uses Averna, which is a sweeter than usual amaro. pictures will be up this friday.

The Blanchard.

Take three strips of orange zest and place them in a pint and cover with a quarter ounce of simple syrup. Using a misto, roast the orange zest. Add 2 ounces of Laird's Applejack, a half ounce of Cointreau, a half ounce of Averna, a barspoon of orange juice and a barspoon of Peychaud bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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