101 Best New Cocktails: Amaro Crusta by Max La Rocca and Giuseppe Santamaria, Ohla Hotel’s “Boutique Bar,” Barcelona, Spain
Click here to subnmit a recipe for possible inclusion in next year’s Annual Manual
Adapted from a recipe by Max La Rocca and Giuseppe Santamaria, Ohla Hotel’s “Boutique Bar,” Barcelona, Spain.
“An Italian twist on a very old classic showcasing nice herbal notes, a slightly thick mouthfeel from using marmalade, and a pleasant bitter and orange aftertaste. An excellent after-dinner drink with loads of herbs that will help your digestion and your soul! Amaro Montenegro is a traditional Italian bitter and is made using over 40 different herbs from around the world, which include orange peels, red cherry, and vanilla. Rabarbaro Zucca is a fantastic bitter, strong and fragrant, with notes of Chinese rhubarb and aromatic herbs.” Max La Rocca.
1 full barspoon bitter orange marmalade
10 ml (.33 oz) fresh lemon juice
10 ml (.33 oz) fresh lime juice
20 ml (.66 oz) Amaro Montenegro
10 ml (.33 oz) Rabarbaro Zucca
10 ml (.33 oz) Amer Picon orange bitters
1 orange twist, as garnish
Dissolve the marmalade and citrus juices in a shaker. Add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake the hell out of it. Double-strain into a nice vintage “Crusta Glass” with a wide vanilla-sugar rim and add the garnish. Shut up, smile and drink!
gaz sez: I met Max La Rocco in Athens, 2009, when he was a finalist in Diageo’s World Class competition. He’s a gentleman, he’s a good soul, and he’s a consummate bartender with wit and style to spare. I haven’t met Giuseppe Santamaria, but if he’s a friend of Max, he’s a friend of mine.
I thought I’d have a hard time getting my hands on a bottle of Rabarbaro Zucca so I could test this baby, but such was not the case. My friend Peter Buttiglieri actually had a bottle of the stuff that he’d found in New York. Who knew?
As it says in the headnote, this is a digestive, though since there’s marmalade in the list of ingredients, I could see having one or two for breakfast, too, and the Amaro Crusta would probably fare quite well alongside Osso Buco. This is my style of drink. ‘nuff sed.