Here’s a great and somewhat unusual cocktail for those of you looking for a spirit-driven tipple that’s a bit out of the ordinary. It comes by way of Ben Dougherty of Seattle’s Zig Zag Café. It contains equal portions of bourbon, dry sherry and Ramazzotti, with a splash of Cointreau and a couple dashes of o-bits. Wait. Back up. Ramazzotti? We’re guessing we couldn’t slip that one past you. Like we said, this drink is a bit unusual, so it stands to reason that it might include an odd ingredient.
So, bourbon—no problem. Then we have sherry which isn’t that common in cocktails but it’s not unheard of. Cointreau and orange bitters—easy. But what’s with this Ramazzotti? Actually, it’s not that hard to find. It’s another Italian Amaro, or potable bitters that happens to be a lovely aperitif. This one comes from Milan and it’s not very bitter at all but has a nice balance of sweet and citrus. It is wonderfully herbal with a predominantly orange character.
Chaplin by Ben Dougherty
.75 ounce bourbon whiskey
.75 ounce dry sherry
.75 ounce Ramazzotti
.125 ounce Cointreau
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
The first sip of the Chaplin hits you like a Manhattan, but after a moment you realize that’s not what you have at all. The whiskey gives way to an herbal orange combination from the Cointreau, Ramazzotti and orange bitters. Then, the sherry kicks in with its vermouth-like funkiness. This lingers for a moment before the other flavors return for a long, satisfying finish. Perhaps most unusual is that this drink smells like cola. We love a drink that feeds the senses with a progression or transformation of flavors. Instead of everything coming at once, it arrives in waves of flavor that make each sip an experience to enjoy.