clementina old-fashioned


I love a well made, classic cocktail. In fact, most nights it’s a Manhattan or a Dirty Martini. But there are some nights when I want something just a teeny tiny bit sweeter. And that’s when I mix up an Old- Fashioned. Just a hint of sweetness from the sugar syrup, and cherry/orange mix. I guess it’s the cold weather, but sweet sounds good these days.  I must need more calories to stay warm? (not)


Last night I wanted the sweet, but also craved the richness that vermouth adds. I had a bottle of the new Martini Rosata, which is a tad more perfumed than the rosso, and the prettiest pink color. So some sort of mashup between a Manhattan and Old-Fashioned seemed in order.

You all know I cook seasonally and mostly from our garden or from the farmer’s markets whenever possible. Well, did you know I also aim for seasonal/local when it comes to cocktails? I wish I could say I use Italian bourbon and gin, but, well, it’s mostly the mixers and condiments that are the local stars.

At the moment our terrace is bursting with citrus. Lemon, of course, but also Meyer lemon and lime. We even have a Limon di Pica that Domenico smuggled in from Chile for the sole purpose of making Pisco Sours. But tonight’s cocktail was going to feature the clementine harvest, which is particularly abundant this year.

I’m really bad at names. I can never think of titles for my books, or even magazine articles. They always sound sort of lame and corny. And naming cocktails is even more difficult, since they run the risk of diving off the deep end of cute. So, feel free to suggest other names.

And just to ward off any criticism: I know a class Manhattan uses Rye. But a) it’s really hard to get here in Rome and b) I like mine with bourbon. Preferably Maker’s Mark.


Clementina Old-Fashioned

2 1/z oz bourbon
1/2 oz Martini Rosato
1/2 oz sugar syrup
1/4 of a clementine
orange bitters

Cut the clementine 1/4 in half.
Place 1 piece in a rocks glass, along with the sugar syrup and bitters. Muddle well, so that you release both the juice and the essential oils from the skin of the fruit (the fresher the better, and of course organic)
Pour in bourbon and vermouth. Stir.
Fill glass with ice and garnish with the remaining piece of clementine, squeezing slightly.

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