Monday, September 21, 2009

el capitan

1 oz Machu Pisco
1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1 oz Bitter Brew (see text, sub Amer Picon) (*)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top, rim the edge of glass, and drop in.
Last night Andrea and I stopped in to Eastern Standard for some dinner and drinks. I spotted that there were three new drinks in the vermouth section of the cocktail menu and I picked the El Capitan after bartender Kit Paschal gave me some more details about the choices. El Capitan is bar manager Jackson Cannon's take on a pisco Manhattan, although I was more convinced that it was his take on a pisco Negroni due to the equal parts of a clear spirit, sweet vermouth, and a bitter liqueur. The Eastern Standard "Bitter Brew" is their Amer Picon substitute and they replicate the bitter orange flavor through a batched mixture of Luxardo Fernet, Cynar, and Clement Creole Shrubb. In El Capitan, the pisco donated more subtle notes to the drink including some smokey hints. Meanwhile, the liqueur mix and the Carpano Antica added a delightful bitter orange flavor with some menthol and artichoke notes playing lightly on the tongue. I quite enjoyed El Capitan and I wonder if the drink was named after the John Philip Sousa operetta set in Peru.

(*) Postnote 4/21/12:  Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 lists the recipe as:
• 1 oz Pisco
• 1 oz Carpano Antica (or other sweet vermouth)
• 3/4 oz Cynar
• 1/4 oz Fernet Branca
• 1 scant tsp Creole Shrubb (or other orange liqueur)
• Orange Twist for garnish.

1 comment:

Ramon said...

It's actually a classic Peruvian cocktail that was popular long before Pisco crossed the US border. It was Mario Vargas Llosa's favorite drink in the book Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, which was half auto-biografical and set in the 50s in Lima. MVLL is the writer who won this year's Nobel prize for literature.