The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2015

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62  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2015 bartenders are reaching for it when they get the increasingly frequent "bartender's choice" orders. The R&R cocktail was born of one of Amron's guests asking for a stirred rum drink. "I actually used a spiced rum because the vermouth I was going to put in there was going to make all those nice spice notes pop a little bit," he says. That ver- mouth happened to be Carpano Antica Formula, one of the richer, dark fruit and marzipan-forward vermouths seen in craft bars. "Something bitter, something spicy, something sweet," continues Amron, "you can take a vermouth and it ties all those things together." Inspired by the botanical and herbal notes of vermouth, Mike Bass, Bar Manager of Cask & Larder in Orlando, FL, is taking the spirit in a different direction entirely: as a substitute for tonic. "When someone does a gin and tonic, I've been playing around with doing gin and Bianco and even Carpano," he says, adding that he's planning on carbonating the drink in- house. The combination "has the same kind of complexity, but slightly less bit- ter, less astringent," he continues, with the roundness of a sweet vermouth giving the classic G&T highball a softer profile. "It's really nice!" he says. "I think it's going to keep growing and growing," says Adamczyk of this burgeoning vermouth following. "I've seen people who used to order Martinis with no vermouth go from adding more and more vermouth, to specifying their vermouth." In short, these bartenders recom- mend you try vermouth and run with it—and their enthusiasm is catching. The Gin & Carponic Mike Bass, Bar Manager of Cask & Larder in Orlando ◗ 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth ◗ 1 ½ oz. St. Augustine Gin ◗ ¾ oz. water Add to a keg to carbonate; serve off the tap in a rocks-filled Collins glass, garnished with an orange zest and a sprig of thyme. La Merena Lianne Adamczyk, Event and Cocktail Manager of Lil Indies in Orlando ◗ 2 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth ◗ ¾ oz. ginger liqueur ◗ ¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice ◗ 5 large drops Bittermens Celery Shrub ◗ Dry apple cider Shake all ingredients except the cider and pour into a Collins glass, fill with ice and top with cider. Garnish with an apple slice and fresh tarragon. The R & R Andrew Amron, Head Bartender at Tall Paul's of Gainesville ◗ ¾ oz. Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth ◗ 1¼ oz. Zaya Gran Reserva Rum ◗ ½ oz. orange liqueur ◗ 6 drops house-made rhubarb pie bitters Stir and serve in an old fashioned glass over a big, clear rock. Garnish with a rhubarb ribbon tied around an orange twist. The Endless Summer Punch (batch recipe yields roughly 1½ gallons) Andrew Amron, head bartender at Tall Paul's of Gainesville ◗ 1 L Carpano Bianco ◗ 1 liter cucumber-infused gin ◗ 500 mL fresh pineapple juice ◗ 400 mL simple syrup ◗ 130 mL fresh lemon juice ◗ 130 mL fresh lime juice ◗ 1½ liters club soda Mix ingredients into batch and pour into punch bowl with block of ice. Garnish with floating thyme sprigs and cucumber wheels. Mike Bass is the Bar Manager at Cask & Larder in Orlando, FL, where his take on a G&T is softened by the addition of Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth. PHOTO: CARLOS AMOEDO PHOTO: CARLOS AMOEDO

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