Thursday, May 5, 2011


1 1/2 oz Old Weller Antique Bourbon
1 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Cynar

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I went over to Bergamot for drinks. For my first cocktail, I asked Kai Gagnon to make me the Elizabetta from the cocktail menu. When I inquired about the name, Kai explained that it is a reference to one of the daughters in the Nonino family that Paul Manzelli, the head bartender, has a crush on. Kai mentioned that her name is actually spelled "Elisabetta" but the other spelling variation won out. Previously, the drink had gone through a few metamorphoses including being the Union (after nearby Union Square) which contained Punt e Mes instead of one of the liqueurs.
The Elizabetta started with a grapefruit oil aroma; Kai stressed that he found grapefruit to be the most complementary twist for this drink and was upset that a local magazine had written up as an orange one. Perhaps it is the Cynar component calls out for the grapefruit twist for Evan Harrison also chose one for his Cynar-laden Peralta. Underneath the citrus oil was a sip containing the Amaro Nonino's caramel and the Old Weller Bourbon's malt flavors. Next, the swallow brought the Cynar and Amaro Nonino's herbal notes and the heat from the whiskey. Overall, the Elizabetta was rich and complex but not overly sweet like I first imagined the drink would be given that it is half liqueurs; I assume that the balance was dried out considerably by their choice of overproof whiskey.

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