Tuesday, October 18, 2011

north end

2 oz Slieve Foy 8 Year Old Irish Single Malt Whiskey
1/2 oz Aperol
1/4 oz Amaro del Capo
2 dash Boker's Bitters

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

My second drink at Stoddard's was the North End that appeared like an intriguing Manhattan variation. Since the drink is named after a Boston neighborhood, perhaps grouping it with the Fort Point, Neighborhood Nine, and the Cambridgeport would be more accurate. One of the things that I was curious about was the "El Capo" on the ingredients list (especially since a Google search on my phone turned up an El Capo Tequila which seemed like an odd thing to pair with a good Irish whiskey). Therefore, bartender Eric Cross showed me the bottle of this amaro and poured me a taste. It possessed a rather caramel sip with mint family notes on the swallow. F. Paul Pacult described El Capo as having "intense, earthy notes of fresh herb and quinine, backed by a strong minerality and a hint of cola nut." Since the North End of Boston is the Italian section of town, it explained the two Italian liqueurs in the recipe; however, why Irish whiskey? Well, the North End during the 19th century was a stronghold for the Irish community especially when the potato famine brought a large number of immigrants to the city.
The North End greeted me with an orange oil and Irish whiskey aroma. The sip contained a semi-sweet malt flavor with light fruit notes from the Aperol. As the North End warmed up, the sip became more richly caramel. The swallow showcased the Amaro del Capo, especially its mint-like flavors, which helped to dry out the drink. Overall, I would characterize the North End more as a cousin to the Toronto than as a Manhattan proper.

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