Friday, February 5, 2021

New Cocktails: the Improved Amargo Cocktail

I realized a while ago that it has been a long time since I last had a tequila cocktail. I also recently purchased a bottle of Sfumato and had been looking for something to do with it. Making a guess that I could slot it into a drink that called for Campari, I went poking around until I found the Amargo Cocktail, which comes from the Wisconsin restaurant Harvest. While I was a little skeptical of something so citrus-heavy without any sweeteners beyond the Campari, I was willing to give it a shot.

Improved Amargo Cocktail

0.75 oz tequila (preferably blanco)
0.25 oz mezcal
1 oz Sfumato
0.5 oz lime juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
0.25 oz apricot liqueur

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice, then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The nose is driven by the smoky/fruity notes of the Sfumato, with a little mezcal poking out. The sip begins fairly tart with some balancing sweetness, flashes through some berries/fruit, dives into the Sfumato and mezcal smoke in the middle, then shifts into bittersweet near the back. The finish is tart and gently bitter, with a little herbal complexity.

I tried this without the apricot liqueur first and found it far too tart. The apricot liqueur rounds off the sharper edges without making itself particularly present in the overall profile, which is what I was looking for. With that said, I really like the way this drink evolves. I takes a lot of pretty strong flavors and manages to showcase them in turn rather than throwing them at your taste buds all at once. Overall, very enjoyable.

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