101 Best New Cocktails 2013: Strega Sour by Junior Ryan, Clyde Common, Portland, OR

by Gaz Regan · Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2013

Strega Sour

Adapted from a recipe by Junior Ryan, Clyde Common, Portland, OR.Strega Sour

“I won the international Martin Miller Trade It Up Competition last year with this recipe.” Junior Ryan.

 45 ml (1.5 oz) Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength gin

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Strega

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) egg whites

1 teaspoon Earl Grey honey syrup (2:1)

4 to 5 drops Angostura bitters, as garnish

 Dry-shake, then add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drizzle or use a dropper to add the bitters in an attractive pattern on the foam.

gaz sez: I put this one into my column in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Here’s part of what I wrote about it: 

Strega liqueur is one of those herbal potions, flavored with just under 70 herbs and spices, and created in the mid-1800s.  Nineteenth-century producers were fond of making herbal potions, Bénédictine being another great example of this sort of liqueur.

Some of the botanicals used to flavor Strega are said to be juniper, mint, saffron, fennel, and cinnamon.  It’s a complex dram that can tear a drink down to its foundations unless it’s used judiciously.  I’ve always had a fondness for Strega, though I’ve usually sipped it as a post-prandial potion as opposed to a cocktail ingredient.

Junior Ryan . . . is a judicious sort of cocktailian.  He knows how to use Strega well.  Calms it down with a healthy tot of strong gin, he does, and it works a treat.  Why didn’t I think of that?  When in doubt, add gin.  It’s a good rule of thumb.

See more of this year’s 101 Best New Cocktails here

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