Thursday, December 22, 2011

a bullet for fredo

2 part Nardini Aquavite Bassano Riserva Aged Grappa
2 part Perucchi Vermouth Blanc
1 part Campari

Compound the mixture for bottling and refrigerate. Serve chilled and undiluted in a small cocktail glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top and discard.

For my second drink at Brick & Mortar, I narrowed down my choices to two, and bartender Evan Harrison's description of A Bullet for Fredo won me over. With two of the three ingredients being Italian, the drink being named after the Godfather movies seemed perfect. Part of what convinced me was that I became intrigued about it being undiluted; the other part was the mention of a curious chocolate note in the drink that Evan could not attribute. When I was shown the bottle of grappa, I was able to search on my phone to discover that it had spent 15 years in Slovenian oak and that one review declared hints of spice, vanilla, and tobacco from the aging process. With the grappa weighing in at 100 proof and no water added, I calculated the drink to be 64 proof in perhaps a 4 ounce glass; potent but not overly so. When I later praised Misty Kalkofen about the grappa in the drink, she commented that the bar's staff favored drinking this grappa over other spirits during training.
The drink began with the complementary pairing of grapefruit oil and Campari which has worked well in other drinks. The sip then offered up a funky grape flavor with almost citrussy notes; I initially attributed this from carrying over from the twist although the vermouth and the grappa could have also played a part. On the swallow, the Campari's bitterness accompanied that quirky note that Evan described. Indeed, this note started chocolate and ended tobacco. Perhaps in a pinch, taking an unaged grappa and adding a dash of chocolate bitters could substitute this effect. Overall, A Bullet for Fredo was very different from a Negroni, for it was less rich, grapey, and herbal in its balance.


Seann said...

I believe the vermouth used was Perucchi. Evan gave me a sip when I inquired... A sweet, blanco vermouth. Pretty awesome.

frederic said...

Thanks! I do not recall why I assumed it was dry vermouth (besides color) unless the menu said that. I'll change it here and confirm it/grab a taste of it later.