Posts Tagged ‘Strega’

101 Best New Cocktails: Late City Night by Leonardo Todisco, Lacerba, Milano , Italy

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

 Late City Night

Leonardo Todisco, Lacerba, Milano , Italy

Late City Night Leonardo Todisco - Copy

“Based on a concept of ‘an old fashioned cocktail without sugar,’ [this drink is]  balanced and enriched with a combination of liqueurs.  [It’s] a fresh, herbal and slightly spicy old-fashioned.” Leonardo Todisco

75 ml (2.5 oz) Old Overholt straight rye whiskeyLate City Night - Copy

15 ml (.5 oz) Galliano liqueur

10 ml (.33 oz) Strega liqueur

1 bar spoon Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Spanish bitters

2 dashes The Bitter Truth’s orange bitters

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 lemon twist, as garnish

1 orange twist, as garnish

1 sage leaf, as garnish

Build in an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass, and stir well to mix.  Add the garnishes.

gaz sez:  I love the idea of using liqueurs instead of sugar in an Old-Fashioned, and the Strega and Galliano work well with the rye whiskey here.  I didn’t have Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Spanish bitters n hand when I tested this so I used Dale DeGroff’s Pimiento bitters as a substitute.  Not because I thought they’d be similar, but because that was the bottle that caught my eye.  Worked well for me!  The formula for this drink is well worth experimentation with other liqueurs, and other bitters.

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Posted in 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2014 |

101 Best New Cocktails: Pointy Reckoning by Claire Prideaux, Il Lido Italian Canteen, Cottesloe, Western Australia.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

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Pointy Reckoning

Adapted from a recipe by Claire Prideaux, Il Lido Italian Canteen, Cottesloe, Western Australia.

Pointy Reckoning

“At the Italian restaurant where I bartend, there is a mysterious and enormous stash of Liquore Strega. Nobody knows how long it has been there, or even who ordered such an unnecessary quantity. Consequently, for at least the last two years, we’ve been trying to dream up a cocktail using Strega so that we have a hope of using it all up sometime within the next two decades. Countless hours of Googling and consultation and experimentation took place, but we were never really all that happy with any of these creations, and the customers even less so.

“One day a couple of months ago, I was trawling Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipes for probably the thirtieth time, but it was the first time I had really noticed that he combined Strega with cinnamon in the Autumn Leaves. From that pairing, the rest just seemed to come out of nowhere. Though if you know me, it’s pretty predictable that I would choose rye whiskey as the base spirit, and I have an affection for Hellfire bitters that borders on obsessive. So really, I just combined a lot of my favourite things, and to hell with everyone else… but the result – simultaneously spicy, herbal and fresh – was surprisingly very well-received.

“The name is a wink to the Strega, which translates to “witch” in Italian. The bottles themselves are even labelled with a large sketch of a crone! I love drink names with a literary background, and the first thing that popped into my head when I thought about witchcraft was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The name comes from a line uttered by the main antagonist, when she warns her friends that snitching on her to the authorities for practicing witchcraft will result in them being brought “a pointy reckoning in [their] sleep”.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Wild Turkey 101 Rye

30 ml (1 oz) Liquore Strega

25ml (.85 oz) fresh lemon juice

25ml (.85 oz) cinnamon syrup*

1 dash Bitter Truth lemon bitters

1 dash Bittermens Hellfire bitters

Shake all ingredients well and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

*To make cinnamon syrup, add 1 cup white sugar to 1 cup just-boiled water and stir until dissolved; add 5 cinnamon quills and let steep for 3-4 hours. Remove quills and keep syrup in fridge until use.

gaz sez:  I love drinks with a good back-story, and this one sure as heck has that, but like Claire, I like to see Strega be put to good use, too, and she pulled this one off admirably.  Nice one, Claire.

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

Tuesday, April 2nd, 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.

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Bitter Bite by Daniel-Grigore Mostenaru, Bla Lounge @ Radisson Blu, Bucharest, Romania

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Bitter Bite

Adapted from a recipe by Daniel-Grigore Mostenaru, Bla Lounge @ Radisson Blu, Bucharest, Romania.

“This baby has a good new feel, and this sort of combinations gives a new perspective on the sour type drink.” Daniel-Grigore Mostenaru.

60 minutes Beefeater gin

30 minutes Jägermeister (from the freezer)

25 minutes Liquore Strega (from the freezer)

3 seconds Peychaud’s bitters

1 sour cherry, as garnish

Place all into a tin, add ice and throw the libation into an empty shaker, then pour back into the ice-filled shaker and throw again ( two throws otherwise you will over-dilute the concoction). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the garnish.

*** throwing has nothing to do what so ever with the “roll it” or ”rock it” technique … it is a way of preparing a drink (similar to the Blazer, not including flames) ***

gaz sez: This particular Romanian cat has got my number, and he shouts it loud and clear. How can these bold flavors come together so damned well in the glass? Is he just lucky? Crazy, perhaps? Whatever gives here, Daniel-Grigore Mostenaru knows exactly how to get my attention. Last year I think I shouted him out as the Sid Vicious of the bar scene. And this year he just comes back for more, throwing conventions to the wind and playing his own tune. Luckily for us, it’s a melody that anyone with a heart that’s bold and true can hear. Keep ‘em coming, Sid.

 

This is one of 2012’s 101 Best New Cocktails.

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