While at Flora last week in Oakland, I had a cocktail with Gran Classico (an alternative to Campari), Amaro Nonino and Fever Tree Tonic Water. It was light, refreshing, bitter and fun – a good variation on an Americano that I knew I would be making at home.
This week I’ve been playing around and while I don’t have Amaro Nonino, I do have a few others. In the end, I’ve found that Averna Amaro actually makes a version that I like even more. The citrus tones of Averna play well with the bitter orange of the Gran Classico. Averna is rich and sweet, but not cloying and while it is herbacious it doesn’t let itself be dominated by the bitter orange of Gran Classico. Actually, this cocktail shows something that I really like about Gran Classico in comparison to Campari – it isn’t as overpowering.
1 oz Averna Amaro
1 oz Gran Classico
4 oz tonic water
Build in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with orange peel.
I’m strongly drawn to bitter cocktails and the Americano is a favorite in that it is bitter sweet, but still light and refreshing. I play with a lot of variations of it at home and this is my new favorite. I don’t remember what the cocktail at Flora was called, but given he’s currently starring in a film (which I haven’t seen) called The American, I thought that naming this drink after George Clooney would be appropriate.
Disclosure: This post was made possible because I received a free bottle of Averna Amaro for the purposes of sample and review.