1/2 oz Housemade Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
6 drop Pernod Absinthe
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top and drop in.
Just as I was finishing my first drink at Island Creek Oyster Bar, I gained a surprise drinking companion of Avery Glasser of the Bittermens Bitters. After speaking with Avery for a bit, bartender Bobby McCoy came by to talk drinks. When I inquired about the Wildwood, he commented that it was a Toronto meeting a Sazerac all with Red Hook proportions. He commented that the drink should be made with a bonded rye, but due to the Rittenhouse shortage, he was forced to substitute Sazerac Rye. Since my family once lived on a Wildwood Street, I was curious as to the name. Apparently, it must be a common street name for it is Bobby's family's address as well. The drink was created for the rehearsal dinner before his wedding as a tribute to where he and his friends used to drink. Those cocktails were made under the care of Bobby's father; alas, I did not realize that Bobby was a second generation bartender, but since he seems like such a natural at the stick, I am not surprised that it is in his blood.
Somewhere in the middle of drinking the Wildwood, Janet of the Bittermens joined our end of the bar. Soon after, it was time to move on to my next engagement -- my friend's mom's 70th birthday celebration up the street at the Chilton Club. There I discovered a bartender that could have used either of the McCoys' mentoring. What he lacked in recipe knowledge and bottles in front of him, he made up for enthusiasm to learn. Amongst the bottles of straight spirits and vermouths was a lone outlier -- a bottle of Campari! Quickly, I taught him how to make a Negroni; soon after, the other guests got wind of it and started ordering one after another. Even with building and free pouring on the rocks and with no orange twists, the drink was a success.