The last of our Rocco’s takeover comes from the esteemed J Maxwell Bennett (@jmaxwellbennett instagram). We don’t want to say we saved the best for last, but we certainly didn’t not save the best for last… or something like that. At any rate, let’s get into this here cocktail…
Some people think scotch is scary. There are two accepted responses to those people A.) Not it isn’t. You are wrong, and clearly hate freedom. B.) Slap* If neither of these responses succeed in eliciting a change of mind, try giving them this cocktail. Averna is an amaro (fancy cocktail talk for slightly bitter liqueurs that are traditionally used as aperitifs and digestifs) that contains sweet notes and a mild herbaceous tone. It is also slightly viscous so that adds a neat experience in your mouth that will, wait, what? Oh come on! Get your mind out of the gutter. We’re adults here! Sort of. Annnnyywayyyy… Licor 43 has a complex array of vanilla, spices, and small citrus notes. Think of it kind of like a candied version of rum. What does all of this have to do with your tasteless friend from earlier? Both of these ingredients add enough collateral flavors to mask that part of scotch that communists hate, but leave enough of it’s glory so that those of us with enough class and sophistication to appreciate things can still enjoy it. As with most cocktails worth their salt (foreshadowing joke… stick with it), Bennett throws a couple dashes of the classic Angostura bitters to add some nice depth and intricacy to the drink. The move here is the use of black sea salt. Told you there was a salt reference coming, don’t ever doubt us again. Salt is more and more finding its way in to cocktails, and for good reason. There is a bunch of science involved in how salt binds flavonoids together and increases taste profile, yadda yadda, and if you want to get into that, there are people we can put you in touch with, but for now just take our word for it- black sea salt is delicious. The quickest little note- it cuts into the sweetness of the two previously mentioned liqueurs and adds balance.
1.5 oz Scotch
.75 oz Averna
.75 oz Licor 43
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 small dash of ground black sea salt
Add everything except the salt into your mixing glass and with your cocktail spoon you’re gonna make like your favorite DJ and spin, spin, spin. Probably around thirty rotations, depending on your ice game. Pour over new ice and sprinkle the salt. Note: theoretically, you should probably add the salt into the cocktail before you stir, but it makes for a cool looking garnish, so we sprinkled it on top.