Most Upstairs at Campagnolo bar regulars know that my favourite drinks are generally spirit-forward with minimal ingredients and garnish—drinks that could technically be replicated by others if needed. I’ve been playing with an elevated riff on a boulevardier as the centrepiece of our fall menu. It’s called The Drink With No Name because I’d been making it for a few weeks as a nameless dealer’s choice cocktail, and the running joke was that I’d never come up with a title for it. It’s a roasty, rich, intense drink for the fall and winter months.
El Bandarra Vermut is a Catalonian vermouth made with Macabeo and Xarel-lo grapes; bandarra is a Catalan expression that apparently means “beast” or “person without scruples.” Amaro Nardini is a deceptively simple amaro. Made by the world-class master of Italian grappa, its flavour profile with bitter orange, licorice, and mint notes is incredibly complex even though it contains only a few components.
1 ounce Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1 ounce El Bandarra Vermut
¾ ounce Amaro Nardini
4 drops Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee bitters (1 millilitre)
Fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice.
Measure out all ingredients into the mixing glass and stir thoroughly.
Strain into a single (six-ounce) old fashioned cocktail glass.
Express the lemon oil from a twist of lemon rind over the drink.
Garnish with the lemon rind twist.
Let taste buds rejoice.