Sunday, March 27, 2022

c.i.a. (sother teague)

1 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Water
2 dash Apple Bitters (Strongwater)

Build in a single old fashioned glass, stir briefly, and garnish with an orange twist. This is a room temperature cocktail without the need for ice or chilling.

Two Saturdays ago, I had some cocktail savvy drinkers at the bar on a date, and they wanted shooters in between rounds. For the first one, I made M&Ms which are equal parts mezcal and (Amaro) Montenegro that was created by Montegro ambassador Marco Montefiori in 2015 and popularized by bartender Rob Krueger at Employees Only and Extra Fancy in New York. For a second round, I made the C.I.A. (Cynar In Apple brandy):
C.I.A. (orginal)
• 1 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
• 1 oz Cynar
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Build in a glass and give a quick stir.
The Brooklyn Bartender book attributed the combination to the Dram bar. Bartender Tonia Guffey described, "One of the drinks we created that's become a bit of an underground shot... I wanted the proof of Fernet, but I wanted a break from it. So I decided to take Cynar, which is lower in proof, and bonded applejack, which is higher, and I put them together 50/50 split, added a drop of Angostura, and boom, a shot was born." Later, I researched the C.I.A. and discovered that bartender Sother Teague wanted this combination to last longer, and he adapted it at Amor y Amargo into a full-sized room temperature cocktail. I jotted down the recipe for later use from Kindred Cocktails which cited Sother's 2016 Instagram post as a source.
The following night, I decided to make this C.I.A. variation. Sother elongated the portions of each part and split the Cynar with Punt e Mes; he also added a little water to open the drink up a bit and switched the winter spiced Angostura for apple bitters. The re-configuring of the C.I.A. yielded an orange oil aroma over herbal, caramel, mint, and apple notes. Next, grape and caramel mingled on the sip, and the swallow flowed with apple, caramel herbal, and minty flavors.

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