Risso

Risso:

1.5 oz gin (Back River)
.5 oz Pelinkovac
.5 oz bergamot orange juice
.75 oz Apricot Brandy.
.25 oz. Simple syrup
Bergamot orange oils

Shake all ingredients with ice. Double-strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express oils from zest over cocktail. Discard zest.


It's a great time to check your local markets for interesting citrus fruits, as the winter season is when they are at their peak. On a recent trip to the market, we found bergamot oranges, a first for us, and along with the infusions that we've started (bitters and infused spirits-posts to follow) using the zest (the most aromatic part of the fruit), we were left with the highly tart, though fragrant, bergamot orange juice.The apricot brandy and the aroma from the bergamot make unexpectedly good company. The simple syrup was added for balance of sweetness, and to prevent the Apricot Brandy from being too fruit forward had we added a full 1 oz., we used Stirring's simple syrup. The cocktail has a pleasant aromatic perfume nose reminiscent of Earl Gray, as dried bergamot orange peels are used to add fragrance and flavor to the popular tea. The botanicals from the Back River Gin and the depth of the Pelinkovac creates a complex sip and swallow, and multifaceted sweet fruit and herbal finish.

 

Coat of Armor- @bluecoatgin, Pelinkovac, lemon juice, Cherry Heering, egg white, @bittercube bitters, lemon zest

Coat of Armor:

1.5 oz gin (Bluecoat)
.75 oz. Pelinkovac
.75 oz. Lemon juice
.5 oz. and a dash Cherry Heering
1 egg white
Lemon zest
Cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)

Shake all ingredients without ice to get fluffy egg-white foam. Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with bitters and lemon zest.

While working with Pelinkovac in previous cocktails, we thought it would make a good flavor pairing with cherry, hence the inspiration for this drink. The juniper heavy, American-made Bluecoat Gin seemed a worthy candidate to stand aside the bold bitter. Usually the farther from London you are, the less pronounced the juniper, but this Philadelphia company doesn't tame things down for the American palate, though this isn't to say that it's harsh (especially considering it's 94 proof) or single note, as there are rich citrus and herbal tones, gentian and citrus zest are most predominant with hints of cardamom and other botanicals

In our first attempt, we omitted the egg white, but the Pelinkovac was a bit astringent and dry on the finish, probably aided a bit by the high proof gin. The egg white proved to soften and round out the flavors for what we considered a more successful cocktail. There was a citrus cherry sweetness on the nose, juniper forward sip, a tart citrus and herbal wormwood/angelica/gentian bitterness on the swallow, with the extra dash of Cherry Heering keeping the bitterness from overpowering the drink. Bitter drink-lovers may choose to keep the Cherry Heering at a 1/2 oz. The citrus makes this cocktail lighter than other bitter (but delicious) drinks like the Negroni, making the Coat of Armor a good intro to Pelinkovac.

 

Bird in the Hand- @jeffmorgen 2 oz. white port, 1 oz. Pelinkovac bitter, .5 oz. Calisaya liqueur, soda, orange zest

Bird in the Hand:

2 oz. White port
1 oz. Pelinkovac bitters
1/2 oz. Calisaya Liqueur
Soda
Orange zest

Stir all ingredients less soda. Pour over ice, top with soda, garnish with orange zest.

After reading the informative post on Calisaya from the Boozeniks , I was anxious to try this relatively new local bitter. Leave it to Jeff Morgenthaler to pull another excellent spirit out of obscurity, the Serbian/Croatian bitter, Pelinkovac to pair with the Calisaya in such a harmonious balance. Pelinkovac is a wormwood based bitter at roughly 28% alcohol and an herbal bitter flavor. The combination of the two beat the sweetness of the port into submission leaving a perfectly balanced, exceptionally complex, though accessible cocktail. The Calisaya is more fruit forward with citrus and warm spice notes and a dry finish on it's own, though smoothed by the port in this cocktail. The Pelinkovac contributes much more potent herbal characteristics, though not overpowering.

We have never been disappointed by the food or drinks at Clyde Common, and always leave singing it's praises for weeks. The friendliness, accessibility, and breadth of knowledge from Jeffrey Morgenthaler and his crew is astonishing. Provided it's not busy, they have been happy to offer tasters and explanations for many of their spirits and liqueurs and also introduced us to the beloved Bonal, which will be showcased in cocktails in future posts.