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Recommended liquor: So that you can start mixing your cocktails as soon as your box arrives, why not go get your bottle of amaro now? Each of this month's featured bartenders has a recommendation for you!
Please note that amaro can run the gamut from intensely bitter and medicinal all the way to fragrant and candy-like, so depending on which brand you go with, that will impact the taste of the cocktails quite a bit. This box may be a good opportunity to buy a few different smaller bottles and try the cocktails each way to see which you like best, although the recipes will all work with one brand across the board as well. Completely up to you!
The bartenders who created the recipes for the box recommend the following three amari: Fernet Branca, Averna, and Jägermeister. These three vary widely in taste from bitter to sweet and you can choose to either purchase whichever one speaks to your taste the most and use it for all three cocktails, or to buy a smaller bottle of each and use the three different ones for the specific cocktails that each bartender recommends them for.
A bit about each one from the bartenders:
Fernet Branca is an amaro with bold notes of menthol and eucalyptus that's quite high on the bitter spectrum. It pairs well with cocoa and toasty flavors (which are present in the Slippery Slopes cocktail). Sother Teague says that this spirit will broaden your horizons on what bitter liqueurs are all about.
Averna is a classic medium amaro with a mouth-coating and bittersweet taste, carrying hints of orange and liquorice, balanced with notes of myrtle, juniper berries, rosemary, and sage. Carla Rivera says that the strawberry-mint shrub, oleo saccharum, and lemon juice in the Vino Labbra cocktail all complement the flavor profile of the Averna perfectly.
Lastly, on the sweeter end of our spectrum of recommendations sits Jägermeister, an incredibly herbaceous German amaro. Chosen by Jacyara de Oliveira, Jägermeister's rich cinnamon and clove mingle well with anise and marry perfectly together with the Last Chance Nance cocktail’s ancho chile and pineapple notes. It adds a lovely layer of 56 herbs and spices.
Whether you go with one bigger bottle or two or three smaller ones, these drinks should still be delicious, but the taste of the amaro you select will definitely affect the taste of the cocktails, so please look for one that melds well with your palate. If you’re not sure, the middle road is likely best to start with!
Recommended amount: To make all 12 drinks, you'll need 20 oz of amaro; a medium (750 ml) bottle (or a few smaller bottles, so you can try a variety of amari!) will be your best bet.
Recommended barware: A few different jiggers that measure 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 and 2 oz, as well as a strainer, shaker, bar spoon, mixing glass, 1 Tbsp measuring spoon, grater or microplane, bottle opener, and citrus reamer or juicer. These are not all strictly necessary, but will improve your mixology experience.
Recommended glassware: Rocks glass and collins glass, (also possibly a double rocks glass if preferable)
Recommended ice: To make all 12 cocktails in one go, you'll need about 5 pounds of ice (5 ice trays’ worth).
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