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Try Montenegro in lieu of other orange flavors -- Aperol, Amer Picon, triple sec, etc. It's pretty mild as amari go.

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I thought some of you might find this article interesting: http://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-102-beyond-basic-bitters/ A few of the cocktails, at least, give me ideas for Montenegro and del Capo: both of which are gathering dust, even though I'm not actively delaying the day when I find myself looking into an empty bottle (Nonino is a little expensive here).

 

I made the La Merced, adjusting for what I had and how much I felt like drinking: an ounce of Pisco Control, an ounce of Montenegro and a half ounce each of Dolin sweet and Punt e Mes. It's fairly, well, sweet. I'm glad I made a smaller drink than the 1.5/1.5/1.5 of the recipe. I don't recall mixing with Montenegro before but I find myself wondering if it needs to be presented in much smaller quantities (as a modifier rather than one of three equally-portioned ingredients) or paired up with something beastlier than D&C's 'house vermouth' or my shitty pisco. Rye? Brandy? Maybe something a little rough and mean? A gutsier, juniper-heavy gin, even.

Chris,

Have you tried Sam Ross' Cobble Hill (rye, dry vermouth, montenegro, cucumber)? That's why I bought my bottle originally. Good stuff. It is also great in small touches in an Old Fashioned. I've been going through my bottle pretty fast.

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The Cobble Hill sounds appealing. Do you have the ratios on hand?

 

Anyway, I just mixed another of the drinks from that page: a Tennessee del Vecchio. The author calls for bourbon but the recipe name mentions a certain State known for its own kind of whiskey. I decided to go with Dickel #12 rather than Buffalo or Maker's. The recipe called for orange bitters but didn't mention how much I should add. I took that to mean 'a dash' so I added two: one each of Angostura and Regan's. It's not a bad drink. I can't say I'd turn to this particularly often but it's workable. I reckon del Capo would be great with Maker's or Bernheim's wheat whiskey. Booker's, too. Although a Booker's-powered version of this would kick your arse.

 

I'd also be tempted to try it without the orange bitters. Maybe my bitter-happy palate got the better of it me as I feel like the bitters are dominating the del Capo. 

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The Cobble Hill sounds appealing. Do you have the ratios on hand?

 

It's from the Bartender's Choice app. 2 oz rye, 0.5 oz dry vermouth, 0.5 oz Montenegro, 3 slices cucumber. Muddle, stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

It's described as a summertime Manhattan which is quite accurate.

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Another cocktail from the Amaro 102 page: 1:1 Campari and del Capo over ice w/ soda. Americano goes fennel. It's workable. 

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I made another cocktail from that page, the Peloni, to try out the Braulio I purchased this evening. A pleasingly spicy, bitter, boozy drink. So far it's the pick of the cocktails I've made from that website.

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Asked this elsewhere on this forum but didn't get any bites:

Has anybody here tried Amaro Sibona? At my local shop I had planned to try Amaro Montenegro about which I've heard so many good things, but the guy said he was no longer able to carry it, and Sibona was taking its place on the shelves. 

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I haven't tried it but recently I've had Cardamaro a couple of times which I found too tame and not bitter enough.

 

On the other hand, I was thoroughly impressed with Ciociaro. I am going to buy a bottle even though I have Picon (they are similar but each has its own personality).  Ciociaro on ice makes a fabulous aperitif.

.

16751678297_dc3deaf61b_z.jpg

 

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I treat Cardamaro more like sweet vermouth than an amaro. Montenegro isn't my favorite. I suggest you be the guinea pig for the Sibona and report back.

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I dunno, Montenegro is really nice. Sweet on its own, but lovely in a drink...

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I agree on the Cio Ciaro.  It is quite nice on its own with a piece of ice.  I have yet to try it in a cocktail since I've enjoyed it so much on its own.  I initially liked Cardamoro  but then fell for Byrrh and Bonal, which I consider of the same ilk.  Unfortunately due to their short shelf life I can only keep one of those vermouth type potions at a time.  The good news is that the Ciaciaro should last indefinitely due to its higher proof.

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Last night I decided to do a side by side of the two.

82IcmLF.jpg

 

Apologies for the poor image quality.

 

Sibilla is higher proof, but filtered and heavily caramel-colored. That's borne out in flavor and texture: it has the viscous, sticky caramel sensation common to many amari, along with the complex herbal blast of bitterness and the smoked honey sweetness shared by both Varnelli amari. It is the more bitter of the two by a pretty wide margin. 

 

Dell'Erborista, by contrast, is cloudy and dark honey-colored, and tastes almost like a bitter version of Benedictine or another herbal liqueur, with a smoked honey sweetness that reminds me a bit of some mezcals. 

 

Overall, Sibilla is closer to a generic amaro, with strong bitterness and caramel flavor, while Dell'Erborista really does taste like a showcase for the wild herbs and honey. Sibilla is more assertive in mixed drinks but Dell'Erborista adds more herbal complexity. Both are very good products, but my informal tasting panel (myself along with my barback and head bartender) unanimously preferred Dell'Erborista, both on its own and in the sour I mixed both products into. 

 

 

Rafa -- Your comments surprised me because I found them when I compared them, so I tried again. The last time I took small sips of each, back-and-forth. I think this obscured the differences. This time I poured a small glass of dell 'Erborista, sipped it slowly, waited a bit, and then tried the Sibilia.

 

The difference in viscosity and caramel really stood out. I liked them both, but the dell 'Erborista was more off an outlier from the brown amari clustering. Cloudy, bright in texture and flavor, and still deeply bitter. The Sibilia is much richer and darker in color and flavor. I've changed my mind: both are worth having. They are really the only amari that I love neat. Most others are either too sweet or (in the case of Fernet) too menthol-like. I use most of my amari in cocktails.

 

I had expected to be accustomed to the bitter, but was really surprised by the intensity of the effect. The first sip is REALLY lingeringly bitter on the swallow. But with each sip, the bitterness becomes less noticeable until it seems nothing special at all. I have not found this effect with saltiness, sour, or sweet. Hot spice does seem to become a little more tolerable if you keep eating -- until you stop and die.

 

After trying this a couple times at NYC restaurants, I finally located my own bottle of dell'Erborista. My god this is good stuff. I want to savor and save it in a way I haven't done with some of my other more-expensive sipping spirits.

 

I am more than happy to save this as a purely neat drink, but if anyone knows of any cocktails where this shines, I'd love to hear about them.


Edited by mhdousa (log)

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 if anyone knows of any cocktails where this shines, I'd love to hear about them.

I'm quite sure you could make the Beekeeprs Apprentice with dell'Erborista. It's a great drink.


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

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Anybody know anything about M. Jannamico Super Punch? Would love to get my hands on a bottle, but I am not in New Jersey (http://www.superwinewarehouse.com/r/products/jannamico-super-punch). Emailed the importer to see about distribution.

 

http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/long-obscure-super-punch-may-be-poised-for-the-big-time/Content?oid=1664718

http://www.kaiserpenguin.com/super-punch/

https://badboozereview.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/episode-11-super-punch-jannamico/

 

Sounds like quite the odd duck.

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1 oz Sibilia

1/2 oz Campari

1/2 oz Aperol 

1/2 oz Maraschino

1/2+oz lemon

 

Ernest in a bitter world, I guess

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Well that's going on my Christmas list.

 

Has anybody tried this yet? It is quite delicious.

 

Fernet Francisco, barrel-aged edition.

 

 

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In PUNCH there was an interesting article about Amari that are made in the US. In that list I've tried Margerum amaro, which is closer to a sweet vermouth with a bitter edge than an amaro per se but is delicious nonetheless. Also Fernet Francisco that I mentioned already and recommend. Lastly I had a chance to try St. George Bruto Americano last week. I had it on ice and it is very intensely bitter, less sweet than Campari, and with much less orange. With its very long gentian finish, it reminded me more of Suze. I was told that it works great in a Negroni!

 

St. George Bruto Americano

 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Bruto Americano acquired. I just sipped it neat. A bit more bitter than Campari, much less orange, much less citrusy, less alarming neon color. My first words were "fucking delicious". The only cocktail in Kindred Cocktails that uses it is the Strange Flower, with equal parts gin and Violette (plus bitter). I just don't think I can drink something with 1/3 violette, and the St George site didn't offer much inspiration, so maybe I'll try Frog's suggestion of a Negroni.

 

It is, unfortunately, more expensive than Campari.

 

EDIT: Dry Negroni with Hayman's Royal Dock, Bruto, Dolin Dry. Delightfully pale pink color belies a pretty kick-ass drink. Coriander comes out, which I don't recall much of in the gin. Odd.


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)
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Great news, everyone.

 

Zucca lives.

image.jpeg

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How'd you guess!

 

Haus Alpenz is no longer their distributor stateside. Whether the price hike and fancy new bottle design was the producer's idea or the new distributor, I don't know.

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