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.

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Naval Traditions

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1 3/4 oz aged rum
1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap rum
1/2 oz turbinado syrup**
1/4 oz Islay Scotch
2 dashes spiced bitters
flamed orange bitters*, for garnish

Stir the first five ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame the bitters over the drink.

*Mix equal parts Regan’s orange bitters and 151-proof rum in a mister bottle and spray through a flame above the glass.

**Mix turbinado sugar with an equal volume of hot water. Chill and bottle.

(Note: The photo above is from a different cocktail that uses the bitters torch.)

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