From time to time, this old & old-school blogger stumbles across something that he finds truly paradigm shifting. Today, it’s Amaricano Bianca from Fast Penny Spirits of Seattle. I don’t normally write reviews of liqueurs, but yes… one is in the works. (coming soon!)
Because this old-world style amaro liqueur with New World techniques and flavors delivers an unparalleled replacement for the increasingly difficult to find (and painfully pricy) Kina Lillet.
Now, I have another post up here, wherein I espouse Lillet Blanc as the “Lillet” of choice for the James Bond original “Vesper” cocktail. (All hail Ian Fleming!) Alas, this was never Ian Fleming’s intent. *His* Lillet, from the late 1950’s, was wildly more complex than the lemon/lime/grape stylings of Lillet Blanc. And I have done him a disservice by suggesting the tame-in-comparison, modern Lillet Blanc for his cocktail.
What Sir Fleming used as a vermouth replacement was a strange concoction, hence the 1/4 of an ounce in the Vesper. And, if we’re being fully honest here, the fresh lemon peel does more for the cocktail than Lillet Blanc does. (Not that I mean to disparage Lillet Blanc! It’s still a frabjous aperitif.) But… we can do better.
Enter Holly and Jamie of Fast Penny Spirits and their appropriately named “Amaricano Bianca.” For those of us in the U S of A, this stuff is just a mouse-click away. Again, full review later… for now:
Trust me when I say: this needs to be in your home bar. If you enjoy clear-spirits of the Vodka & Gin persuasion, do yourself a solid, and order a bottle! (NO… this is not sponsored! I am NOT being compensated for anything here. I purchased this stuff all by me onesies.) Drop Amaricano Bianca in as the replacement for Dry Vermouth in your Martini or Gibson and squee with glee!
All that aside, for a good time call:
The Real Vesper (by the BoozeGuru)
2 ounces quality Gin (I used Roku, but Kinobi, Leopold Bros., and Nolet’s will work too)
1 ounce quality Vodka (I used the best stuff on the planet: Jewel of Russia Ultra… deviate at your own peril)
1/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce Fast Penny Spirits’ Amaricano Bianca (adjust to your preference)
- Place three ice cubes into your mixing glass.
- Place two ice cubes and cold water into a champagne coupe.
- Add the Gin and the Vodka to the mixing glass.
- Recite the opening stanza to Robert Service’s “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”
- Add the Amaricano Bianca to the mixing glass.
- Stir gently, while reciting four more stanzas Mr. Service’s masterpiece.
- Carefully remove a sliver of peel from a fresh lemon (No pith, please!)
- Dump the contents of the champagne coupe, and
- Strain the contents of the mixing glass into it.
- Gently twist the lemon peel over the cocktail to express its oils, then
- Slide the lemon peel into the glass.