Recently Fratelli Branca showcased their portfolio at a luncheon at Scopa Italian Roots, a new restaurant in Venice. We got a taste of the new Carpano Bianco, a white vermouth that’s a companion to their Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. I thought it was really interesting you could tell immediately Carpano Bianco was very much like Antica, just drier.
Lunch was accompanied by specialty cocktails from Gilbert Marquez (Scopa), Marco Antonio Ramos Monterrubio (Scopa), Justin Pike (The Tasting Kitchen), Ricky Yarnall (Harvard & Stone) and Dave Kupchinsky (The Eveleigh).
Gilbert featured pulque in his Candolini grappa bianca and mezcal cocktail. I had heard a lot about pulque but never knew where to get what essentially amounts to moonshine. I feared the drink would be rough but it turned out to be very well balanced.
Pulqueria la Risa – Candolini grappa bianca, mezcal, pulque, pineapple, ponche de Posada syrup
You can find Ricky mostly at Harvard and Stone these days but on this day, he was slinging his New Hickory at Scopa.
The New Hickory is Ricky’s take on the classic Old Hickory (dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, orange bitters). The New Hickory was the perfect choice to showcase Carpano Bianco and Carpano Antica together.
New Hickory – Templeton rye, Carpano Bianco, Carpano Antica, orange bitters
Justin Pike shows us the sherry way with his Cure All #6. It’s a spirits heavy drink as it’s all booze yet it was very balanced.
Cure All #6 – Templeton rye, Punt e Mes, Borghetti espresso, Amontillado sherry, absinthe
I was told to try Marco’s drink the Arthur Miller towards the end of the tasting since it was on the sweeter side. It went very well with our cannolis from Scopa.
Arthur Miller – Cognac, Borghetti Sambuca, Borghetti Cafe Espresso
Even with hardcore Fernet-Branca drinkers, most people kept Dave’s Paint it Black drink last. However, the Italian digestive was made almost summery with the shrub. I actually would drink this before a meal and feel fine with that decision. The long drink over crushed ice is a perfect patio or poolside drink.
Paint it Black – Fernet-Branca, Carpano Antica, black pepper, strawberry shrub
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© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2014