Alto Cucina

1 oz Scotch
1 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz St. Germain
orange peel for garnish

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a twist of orange peel.

This is not my drink. It comes from Stephen Shellenberger of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who gave me permission to reproduce it in the out of print Cocktail Collective. I include it here not only because it’s an excellent cocktail, but also because it’s a fantastic template for creating new ones. The balance of base spirit, aperitif, bitter, and floral is superb. Like the Last Word or Negroni, it’s a formula that lends itself to infinite variation.



1 1/2 oz dry sherry
1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
2 drops Angostura bitters
lemon peel, for garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

This cocktail was created by bartender Louis Eppinger while he worked in Japan in the late 1800s and is featured in the excellent book Imbibe! by David Wondrich.