December 17, 2010
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: most times (that makes it sound sort folksy), most times I say, the simple things are the finest. Example A: I picked up a bottle of Punt e Mes (you probably know this, but it’s a particular Italian vermouth, fragrant and citrus and herbal in action) at one of my local stores here in Italy recently, and instead of getting all jiggy with it, poured it simple over ice, and then topped it with ginger ale (the Conad, which is a line of stores here, house brand, which is quite dandy, dry and ginger-tastic). An orange slice might have made it better, but you know what? It was a fine aperitif even without said slice. And so simple. You should make one yourself. Right now:
1-1/2 ounces Punt e Mes
3 ounces ginger ale
1. Fill a highball glass three-quarter-ish up with ice cubes. Add the Punt e Mes. Top with the ginger ale. Stir. Be happy for simple things.
December 14, 2010
This vacationing vandal special is, in a big way, a liquid shout out to pals Markie B and Andy S. See, these two fine gentleman (and their wives) came with us the last time we were in Italy (way back in April 2009), and during that trip we discovered the somewhat illusive Viparo. You can read my plea for this Italian amaro here, and learn more about our adventures on that trip. On this trip, I was excited to try and track down this evasive elixir, and then when walking into some big new market/grocery/superstore a couple weeks back there it was, staring down at me–a whole display of new bottles of Viparo. Naturally, I picked one up and now it, along with Italian stalwart Aperol, features big in the below drink. The others players are gin (which starts the story behind the name, as I was picturing the drinker as a British stagecoach robber on vacation) and clementine juice (I found a bunch of clementine’s recently)—everything together equals a fine escape:
1-1/2 ounce gin
1 ounce freshly squeezed clementine juice
1/2 ounce Viparo
1/2 ounce Aperol
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, juice, Viparo, and Aperol. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass or little wine glass or flagon. Drink up.
A Note: Can’t find clementine’s? You could sub in orange juice instead. Call it Highwayman’s Parole.
A Second Note: You might want to strain this through a fine strainer to avoid citrus bits in teeth. But no real robber would care about that much.