Sunday, March 1, 2009

nonantum cocktail

2 parts Old Overholt Rye
1 part Punt e Mes
1 part Strega
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Marasca cherry.

Yesterday, the Grand in Somerville (home of the Boston Shaker's shop) was holding its monthly Sip & Shop sale event. The guest bartender was Evan Harrison of the Independent who was making one of his newer creations, the Nonantum cocktail (please read the DrinkBoston post about Evan and his cocktail). The drink is a modification of a Green Point using a little less rye and swapping Strega liqueur for the yellow Chartreuse. Cheers to Evan for being the first to make a cocktail I have tasted with Strega, a liqueur I have only seen while browsing the shelves of certain liquor stores. Although historically others must use it since there are 23 recipes on in case any of you purchase a bottle and wonder what else to do with it besides making tasty Nonantums with it (although please have Evan and the others at the Indo make them for you if you are in the area!).

The drink was indeed reminiscent of the Green Point, although with the more sweet Strega and lower rye proportion, the cocktail was a bit more syrupy smooth in comparison. While the Strega is more intense of a bitter flavor than yellow Chartreuse, the overall profile was less sharp which might be due to the fact that I am used to Green Points with spicy Rittenhouse 100 and not the Nonantum's softer Old Overholt. Regardless of the differences between the two, the Nonantum was just as addicting of a taste as I find Green Points to be.


Craig said...

I've heard Strega is made with saffron, and I'm curious to know how strong the safforn flavor comes through? I wonder if I could approximate this closely by using yellow chart. and some Sunshine bitters (saffron & cardamom)? Oh what the hell, I'll just try it.

frederic said...

It would be similar. Considering the drink he mimicked used yellow Chartreuse (the Green Point), it would not be a bad substitution but it would be closer to the original.

I remember Strega having a bit sharper of a flavor than yellow but not as much as green Chartreuse. I'm not sure I could pick out the saffron notes that well (but it's a flavor I don't pick up on easily).

Craig said...

Well the saffron bitters are pretty intense - little goes a long way unless you want to have a drink that tastes like paella... Nevertheless, they might be a good way to perk up yellow chartreuse, which I find to be underwhelming (and the green can be overwhelming...)

Essentially, I'd like to get something to approximate the flavor of green but stay in the yellow color family. Brown rye + green chart. can get a little muddy looking.