Wednesday, November 17, 2010


1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Dubonnet (Bonal)
1/2 oz Cream

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After a big, spicy dinner at India Palace in Union Square on Wednesday night, we desperately needed a digestif. I, therefore, opened up Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to look for something in the liqueur section to give us some relief. What I spotted was a strange creature of sorts, the Appetizer, but between the Fernet Branca and the sizable helping of Angostura Bitters, I figured it would work despite the name. True, Dubonnet (or the Bonal we used) can make for a good aperitif, but cream, amaros, and bitters not so much. In fact, I could not see having this as an appetizer; perhaps it is the same confusion of calling one island Greenland and one island Iceland despite only the latter being inhabitable.
Indeed, this beast was rather effective in settling our stomachs! The nose started with Fernet Branca with minor spice notes from the Angostura Bitters. A minty flavor on the sip was followed by Angostura Bitters and Fernet Branca's menthol on the swallow. The cream functioned to tone down the potable and "non"-potable bitters so that the drink was not as intense as the other ingredients would suggest yet letting it be just as effective as a doctor prescribed medicine.

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