The new Black Glove and fancy garnishes

black-glove Today’s Wall Street Journal includes a story on fancy and functional cocktail garnishes. I’m flattered that they chose to include a cocktail recipe from Metrovino, the Black Glove:

It’s not the ebony color that surprises drinkers most when they order a Black Glove cocktail at Metrovino in Portland, Ore. It’s the curious frill straddling its rim. The garnish, a preserved green walnut wrapped in a strip of orange peel, embodies the flavors of the cocktail—the sweetness of rum, nuttiness of nocino (a green walnut liqueur) and sharpness of bitters—in one bite. “The walnuts bring out the flavor of the nocino and add a texture like chewy candy,” said the Black Glove’s creator, Jacob Grier.

I posted about this drink once before, but for the article I adapted the recipe to work with commercially available ingredients. The nocino made by Todd Steele, the owner of Metrovino, is drier and spicier than what’s commercially available. I changed the rum selection, altered the proportions, and added a dash of bitters, and I have to say I’m very happy with the results. If you wanted to try this drink at home, make it this way:

2 oz aged rum (Gosling’s Black Seal)
1 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz nocino (Nux Alpina)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with orange peel and preserved green walnut. You can buy the walnuts from Harvest Song here.

Read the whole article for more garnish ideas, including a beer cocktail garnished with speck.

[Photo by F. Martin Ramin for the Wall Street Journal, styling by Anne Cardenas.]

The Black Glove

blackglove

This morning I tweeted with frustration about the inane Dark Knight Rises themed cocktail press releases that were arriving in my inbox. It didn’t occur to me that my agenda for the day included writing about my own Batman-inspired cocktail recipe. Hypocrite, thy name is Grier! (In my defense, the name for this drink comes from Grant Morrison’s fantastic run on the comics and its appearance alongside the new Christopher Nolan movie is completely coincidental.)

A while back the owner of Metrovino, Todd Steele, harvested a bunch of green walnuts to make Nocino, a liqueur made by steeping the unripe nuts in neutral spirits. The liqueur came out powerfully flavored, pitch black and both drier and spicier than the commercial versions I’ve tried. We decided to embrace the darkness and pair it with the very molassesy Cruzan Black Strap rum in this rich variation on the Manhattan:

1 1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap rum
1 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
1/2 oz house Nocino

Stir with and serve up. Garnish with an orange peel and preserved walnut. (The preserved walnuts come from Armenia and are produced by Harvest Song; they deserve a post all their own and make the perfect edible garnish for drinks made with Nocino.)

Since we only produced two bottles of house Nocino, the Black Glove is available for an inherently limited time. Get it while it lasts!

I haven’t tried making this with a commercial Nocino, but my guess is one would have to reduce the amount of liqueur used and add aromatic bitters to prevent the drink from becoming too sweet.