Friday, 13 April 2012
Amaro April: "Sevilla" from Beretta in San Francisco
The barstaff has all the good kinds of experience, coming from other big names like Bourbon & Branch and Slanted Door, the service is consistently reviewed as impeccable, and despite the buzz that's been heard around this place since it opened in 2008, the consensus is again and again that it lives up to the hype. Southern Italian cuisine is really what they do, in particular pizza, so make sure you go for a drink and a snack.
The menu is short and simple, which I always appreciate. Rifling through pages and pages of complicated concoctions, as creative or delicious as they may be, makes me want to ignore the menu altogether. It's supposed to be a good starting point, a few suggestions, and more importantly, a show of what the bar staff enjoy to make right now. That's how I feel anyway. Yes, yes, digression...
The majority of the drinks on the menu are very refreshing, like "Nuestra Paloma," using Tequila, elderflower, Cointreau, grapefruit, and bitters, or the "Lonsdale," using gin, apple, basil, and honey. Others are simple, like their "Anejo Sour," and they have a classic or two as well, including one of my go-to drinks at home, the "Monte Carlo," with American rye, Benedictine, and bitters.
The head of the cocktail program, Ryan Fitzgerald, sticks with this mentality for his Amaro April cocktail, keeping things very simple. We again see Tequila (those SF'ers sure love their agave, but they have copious amounts of good quality stuff, so it makes sense), pairing it with Averna, then using Cointreau and orange bitters to really pull the citrus out. Ryan prefers to use Pueblo Viejo Tequila, and Angostura Orange bitters (which you better grab fast because I hear they're being pulled off the market - in Canada, anyway), which is much more dense and spicy than any other orange bitters I've tried. Using these will really lengthen the taste of any cocktail, opposed to using one like Regan's, which - while excellent - is much drier and dies quicker on the palate. Averna has some subtle citrus character that will play well with the orange in the cocktail, and being quite thick and fairly sweet, will change the texture of the drink and balance everything out.
Without further adieu, here is "Sevilla," named after the bitter variety of orange, from Ryan Fitzgerald at Beretta in San Francisco.
2 oz Pueblo Viejo Añejo Tequila
0.5 oz Averna Amaro
0.5 oz Cointreau
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir over ice, then strain into a small old fashioned glass over ice. Squeeze an orange twist over top and add it to the drink.
[[ Photography by "Cooking With The Single Guy," and Beretta ]]
[[ See my post on amaro digestivos here ]]
[[ See my post on amaro aperivos here ]]
[[ See a buying guide for amaro here ]]
[[ See "The One Hit Wonder" from L'abattoir in Vancouver here ]]
[[ See "The Penny Farthing" from Pourhouse here ]]
[[ See an introduction to amaro here ]]
[[ See "The Imperial Eagle" from Bourbon & Branch here ]]
[[ See "Fallow Grave" from the Toronto Temperance Society here ]]
[[ See "The Black Prince" from Phil Ward here ]]
[[ See "Bad Apple" and "Jackson Ward" from Amor y Amargo here ]]
[[ See "The Four Horsemen" from Jay Jones at Shangri-La here ]]
[[ See Colin MacDougall from Blue Water Cafe here ]]
[[ See "Debbie Don't" from Dutch Kills here ]]
[[ See "Welcome to the Dark Side" from Cin Cin here ]]
[[ See "Foolish Games" from Russell Davis here ]]
[[ See "Intro To Aperol" from Audrey Saunders at Pegu Club here ]]