Wednesday, December 14, 2016

the bitter swagger

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CXIV) was picked by Stacy of the Stacy Markow blog. The theme she chose was "Digestifs," and she elaborated on the choice with her description of, "It's December. There's a chill in the air, and if you're located in the U.S. like I am, we are smack dab in the middle of a busy holiday season. This time of year is known for calorie laden holiday meals surrounded by family and friends, so it seemed like the perfect time to explore the vast combinations that can be found by discovering and making cocktails from ingredients known for their digestive properties. Digestifs are pretty popular in my world... They help settle a meal and bring the night to a close. Options to use classic digestive products are endless here, from smooth whiskey and bourbon to brandy, port, sherry, and many liqueurs. Many products (like Fernet, aromatized wine, and other amaros) have been created for this sole purpose. Let your imagination run wild, and make a beverage highlighting at least one product known for its digestif qualities..."
Concurrent with me pondering this theme was the delivery of Brad Parson's Amaro book, so I was provided with more than a bounty of new options to choose from. One of the drink recipes that caught my eye was the Bitter Swagger created by Nick Talarico of Mephis' Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen that was his amaro riff on a Pisco Sour. Most of the spirit here had been replaced with Amaro Nardini which has chocolate and mint notes lurking in the background similar to Benedictine. I still was not sure what the value of a quarter ounce of Cocchi Americano was in the mix, but I was willing to give this combination a go.
The Bitter Swagger
• 1 1/4 oz Amaro Nardini
• 3/4 oz Pisco (Encanto)
• 1/4 oz Cocchi Americano
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
• 1 Egg White
Shake once without and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.
The Bitter Swagger shared a chocolate and caramel aroma that was brightened by the lemon notes. Next, a creamy lemon and caramel sip was followed by an herbal swallow containing light mint and chocolate notes. The pisco was rather subtle in the flavor profile here, but it was certainly not out of place. While I did have a large dinner before enjoying this drink, my stomach was not angered with me, so it was hard to judge this combinations efficacy on a scale from zero to Fernet Branca.

So thank you to Stacy for hosting such a seasonally appropriate theme (although I enjoy these flavors all year around), and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday crew for keeping the spirit of the event going all to the beat of an ice-laden shaker tin set. Cheers!

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