Friday, July 6, 2018

nina brava

1 1/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz St. Germain

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with grapefruit oil from a twist.

Two Fridays ago, I had just received my copy of Misty Kalkofen and Kirstin Amann's Drinking Like Ladies book, and I immediately honed in on the Nina Brava. The recipe was crafted by Melissa "Mellie" Wiersma who was a Boston bartender before she headed off to New York City, and I was drawn to it for the combination of smoky spirit, dry vermouth, Cynar, and elderflower reminded me of the Alto Cucina. Like all of the recipes in the book, this one was named after a notable lady in history, and here it was in tribute to a retired Navy Seal, Kristin Beck, who came out as a trans woman in 2013.
Once prepared, the Nina Brava offered up smoke, grapefruit, and floral aromas over darker notes from the Cynar to the nose. Next, caramel and a vague fruitiness that had a touch of grapefruit on the sip led into smoky, vegetal, and fruity flavors on the swallow with a dark and smoky finish. Like in other drinks, the high notes of St. Germain worked rather well to balance the bass ones of Cynar.

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