5. LIQUID CULTURE: Amari-heavy Cocktails
The age of Fernet isn’t over—not by a long shot (so to speak). But this year we tasted a great variety of amari in a great variety of cocktails. Texans love ‘em (they’re trying to overcome distribution problems to source all variety of amari as we speak). At Austin’s The Volstead, mixologist Justin Elliot not only prepares “The Fist,” a quad-amari powerhouse of flavor whose name suggests what it does to your tongue, he also matched the bitter, quenching rhubarb of Rabarbaro Zucca with chai-infused Doulin Rouge and Angostura bitters in his “Indian Summer.” And in Chicago, Stephen Cole, formerly of The Violet Hour, stirred up a Luxardo-homage with his “Giralomo Sour.” But Fernet lovers fret not—the stuff’s getting plenty of play. At absinthe temple Maison Premiere, Maksym Pazuniak (who’s since left for The Counting Room) temporarily forsook the wormwood wonder for a two-ounce-homage of the mentho-licious, barky elixir in his “Fernet Sling.” And down in Little Italy, Jeremy Strawn coupled Luxardo and Fernet for a bespoke “Summer Hemingway" at Mulberry Project.
Torino Julep: Smith & Cross Rum, Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, Fernet Branca, Maldon Salt, and Fresh Mint by Mixologist Natasha David of Maison Premiere - Brooklyn, NY