There is no other drink that more surely defines a connoisseur. Conversely, there are fewer bartenders than there should be who know how to make this drink, which is a shame, as it is perhaps the best before-dinner cocktail ever invented. The bitters and the vermouth imply, rather than enforce, a spicy, citrusy flavor that opens the palate wide. This is the drink that made me want to bartend; I suspect in this I'm not alone.
Pour the gin, vermouth, and Campari into an empty cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and stir with a bar spoon until the outside is cold. Strain and serve, garnished with burnt orange peel.
Burning an orange peel is a show-offy technique that adds the flavor of burned citrus oil to a drink and imparts a pleasant aromatic note with a slight orange nuance.
Cut a thumb-size slice of fresh orange peel, retaining as much of the white pith as possible. Strike a match and hold it
in one hand. Hold the shorter end of the orange peel between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand and gently brush the flame against the orange peel.
Hold the still-lit match (or another one, if the first one is about to singe you) about 2 inches above the filled cocktail glass and hold the peel a similar distance over the match.
Pinch the peel, releasing the oils. If you've done this correctly. the spray will ignite in a rather satisfying burst. Sometimes there is even a nifty little whoosh.
This page created December 2009
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