MxMo Amaro, Amici Cattivi
Bonjourno, folks, to another exciting Mixology Monday, this time hosted by the venerable Chuck Taggart of GumboPages.com. If you haven’t been to his site and tried a few of his recipes, you really ought to.
Chuck decided this round should be dedicated to the various Amari of Italy. Amaro, roughly translated, is Italian for “Bitter”, and Amari are often served as digestivs, straight or with a bit of tonic water. Bartenders and Imbibers alike have been going pretty crazy about these “interesting” liqueurs for awhile now. Any bartender worth his salt would do well to keep a bottle or two on their shelves these days. I tend to keep a bottle of Fernet Branca on the shelf, for any with the interest to try something different, and something a little more gentle, such as Averna or Aperol, for interesting mixing.
I went a bit of a different route this time, with the lovely and well balanced Amaro Nardini. It starts off lightly sweet, and ends up with a lovely blend of gentian, peppermint, and licorice. I first tried this mixed at Teardrop Lounge, in my buddy David’s AKA Burro Punsch, which blends this Amaro with a Reposado Tequila, Carpano Antica, and Batavia Arrack. The combination of ingredients sounds awful, but the drink is really, really good.
Here’s my original, celebrating a full map of Italian Amari, including the Nardini, some Averna to mellow it out, then some Fernet to pop it back out. I went through a few gins, and selected Bols Genever as the base, to make it a drink you could really chew on for a bit. The Pimento Dram… well, we’ve all got to have a signature somewhere.
Amici Cattivi (Bad Friends)
- 1 1/2 BOLS Genever
- 3/4 oz Amaro Nardini
- 3/4 oz Averna
- tsp Pimento Dram
- tsp Fernet Branca
- dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled glass. Take a slice of lemon peel and rim glass, then express the oils into the drink, and discard.
The drink comes out with a color about as exciting as a cold cup of coffee, but is packed to the gills with complexity. The Amari all smooth each other out in a rather interesting way. The herbs tend to blend a bit better than drinking them straight, nothing too edgy here. Go ahead and give it a shot, I dare you. See you next month!