Monday, May 27, 2013


1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Cynar
1 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Stir until the salt is dissolved. Add ice, stir again, and strain into a coupe glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

Two Tuesdays ago, I flipped through Gary Regan's Negroni book and stumbled upon the Bottecchia. Kevin Burke of Denver's Colt & Gray created this recipe where the gin of the classic Negroni was swapped for Fernet Branca and the sweet vermouth for Cynar. In addition, Kevin added a pinch of salt to temper the bitterness and to add a savory element to Bottecchia. For a name, he paid tribute to Ottavio Bottecchi, a cyclist who won the Tour de France in 1924 before dying mysteriously of unknown causes a few years later.
The grapefruit oils from the twist greeted the nose along with a dark herbal and earthy undertone. A caramel sip from the Fernet Branca and Cynar gave way to a swallow that began rather Cynar driven. Next, the swallow offered the Campari flavors along with a lingering light menthol note from the Fernet. Indeed, the salt really shifted the drink to a more mellow profile than the ingredients list would otherwise suggest.

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