Monday, November 17, 2008

camino cocktail

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 oz Craigie's Amber Vermouth
1/2 oz Mirto
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir on ice and strain into a rocks glass. Flame orange peel over drink and drop in.

Last night, I made it out to Craigie on Main to check out the bar program Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli is heading up. Andrea was away this weekend and I needed to get out of the house, so checking the bar out on an off night became the plan. Others must have had the same idea since the restaurant and bar were pretty filled when I got there. Sitting at Tommy's 12 seat bar were 3 of the bartenders we have written about here on CocktailVirgin -- Bice from Green Street, Ben from Drink, and Evan from The Independent, and several of the others were assorted industry folk.

Having tasted the wonders of mirto, a somewhat bitter Sardinian liqueur made from myrtle berries and leaves, at Eastern Standard last month, I was very much game to try some more which lead me to choosing the Camino Cocktail. What really balanced this drink out was the housemade amber vermouth - a sweet but light creation. I tasted notes of vanilla in it and asked Tommy what else was in it. He confirmed the vanilla and mentioned bay leaf and chamomile. Later in the evening, Tommy offered me a small glass of the vermouth alone. To me it also had notes of cherry and seemed less aggressively herbal than a sweet vermouth (although this could be relative to how my tongue's baseline was reset by the mirto et al.). While another one of Tommy's vermouths has cherry bark in it, this one did not although he stated how he could see a cherry pit smell in it. Considering that Tom is a major fan of vermouths including drinking them straight up, I was not surprised at all by the efforts he put in to designing the at least 2 housemade vermouths on the menu.

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