Saturday, October 29, 2022

bitter giuseppe

2 oz Cynar
1 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
6 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned with a large ice cube (4 Kold Draft cubes), and garnish with a lemon twist.

After having made Misty Kalkofen's Little Giuseppe two nights before, I looked into Toby Maloney's The Bartender's Manifesto to find the recipe for the Bitter Giuseppe created at the Violet Hour in Chicago. The book attributed the recipe to the year 2009 despite other sources online listing it as early as 2007 which would confuse the tale of it being created in conjunction with Misty Kalkofen at Drink via a game of telephone (Drink did not open until October 2008). Stephen Cole's provided the narrative, "One night an Italian chef I knew came into the bar for a drink. I thought he'd like a Cynar Manhattan." Given that it was a sweet amaro with a sweet vermouth, he knew that it needed something to counter that, and his interest in the 'Ti Punch with it small lime coins for juice (and oil) came into play here utilizing lemon. Over successive tries, he realized that his combination required a full quarter ounce of lemon juice instead of a few drops.
The Bitter Giuseppe like the Little Giuseppe began with a caramel aroma but here accented with lemon oils from the twist garnish not found in the companion drink. Next, a similar grape and caramel medley on the sip flowed into bright vegetal, herbal, and grape flavors on the swallow. Overall, the choice of vermouth (sweet vermouth vs. Punt e Mes) as well as lemon juice proportions greatly effected the end result particularly on the swallow.

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