After the detours of the holidays and Mixology Monday, we now resume our normal weekly cocktail schedule. And we are happily back at “work”. As for this week’s cocktail, it certainly checks a lot of our boxes for how we choose drinks. Seasonal ingredient? Check. Excuse to try a new type of booze? Check. Not too boozy? (it’s January, we’re a bit pickled from the holidays) Check….Oh, and does it tastes really good? Check.
The Blood on the Adriatic combines blood orange juice, Amaro Montenegro and Aperol, shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. It is easy to make, uses the blood oranges that are in season, is barely stronger than a glass of wine, looks beautiful (IMHO)…and packs a lot of complimentary flavors. We based this cocktail off of the Adriatique Cocktail from Jackson Cannon at Boston’s Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Serious Eats wrote this cocktail up a while ago and we loved it, with the sweet, acidic orange juice playing well with the herbal and bitter Amaro and the citrus and rhubarb of the Aperol. But both of us immediately thought the cocktail would be better (at least for us) with the more tart, berry-ish complexity of blood oranges. And we think we were right. The tart, acidic berry flavors add to the sweet orange and balances the bitter notes. This cocktail is very refreshing and has a wonderful aroma. And we will admit that we just love the color.
As for the ingredients, you can find blood oranges in most good produce or farmers markets this time of year. We tend to prefer the deeply colored Moros, but all blood oranges will have that berry-ish flavor. As for Amaro Montenegro, it is a type of Italian “Amari”, a family of bittersweet, herbal liqueurs and digestifs (here is a good intro guide). Amaro Montenegro is one of the more “accessible” Amaro, it is sweeter and less bitter than most, with complex herb and honey notes and only about 25% alcohol. Aperol is basically Campari’s sweeter, lighter, and less bitter, boozy and “ashy” cousin. Aperol has lots of sweet citrus and rhubarb flavor with a bitter finish. Both the Aperol and Montenegro are good introductions to more bitter-flavored cocktail ingredients.
While these may seem like disparate flavors to put in a cocktail, they all share a similarity. Each has sweet notes on its own, but is balanced by another flavor. Blood oranges have the tart berry flavors, Amaro Montenegro has herbal notes and the Aperol adds more fruit and a bitter finish. When you put them together you get a sip that starts with tart, moves to sweet, fruity and herbal and ends with a clean, slightly bitter finish. And for all that flavor, this cocktail is way less than half-strength, so you can have more than one. Good stuff? Check.
- 1 oz. blood orange juice
- 1 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- 1/2 oz. Aperol
- Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass, coupé or flute. Serve.
- Seasonal Sips: Aperol Spritz (o.canada.com)
- Mixology Monday Cocktail: Alone, Bitter at the Beach (putneyfarm.com)
- Ingredient of the week: blood oranges (o.canada.com)
- A Few Christmas Cocktails (putneyfarm.com)
- Averna Amaro Winter Cocktail – The Sicilian Sleigh Ride (manoavino.com)
1st thing in the a.m. Read “Blood in the Attic”…
Woke me up like a double espresso.
We did have some fun w/ the name….;-)
Blood in the Attic does sound like a cool name though….might have to borrow that one. Drink looks great!
We would like to see your version of that!
Nice post on the Carioca on DrinkWire, btw…
Indulging in your beautiful blog whilst on a detox is seriously tantalising, but I like it!
If detoxing blood orange juice by itself is certainly a treat…
Oh, the stemware! Such a beautiful vessel for such a gorgeous libation.
Thanks! We wish we could get better detail on the patterns on the glass…very pretty.
We have been trolling antique shows for stemware…getting a bit compulsive…
Blood Orange woohoo!! I have never really had either an amaro or Aperol, but I am not one to pass up an opportunity to try new alcohol, so I am going to make a mental note of this 😉 And gorgeous pics too…!
Thanks! Hope you enjoy it! And plenty of good recipes with the A[perol and/or Montenegro. have fun!
Well done. I do love blood orange season — it’s the happiest time of the year! Well, of the winter anyway. 😉
Without winter citrus it would get pretty bleak…the blood oranges and Meyer lemons do brighten things up!
love the color to and the spirits I never heard about before – your bar must be enormous – the photo with the orange with its leaf and halved one – is stunning … want to take a bit out of it .. it’s so juicy.
Have a great weekend.
Thanks! (We do like taking photos of blood oranges). The bar continues to grow…but always a good excuse to have friend over to use up the booze!
Pity that you’re not next door too me – our blood orange shots was so juciy.
Reblogged this on marketmaiden and commented:
Because its got Aperol…
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i hope you won’t get angry but I used this recipe to come up with our weekly aperitive here where i work.. i twisted it a bit coz i use mandarin instead of blood orange and also the spirit quantities are inverted in mine… italians dont understand the use of amari on cocktail.. not yet at least ehehe..
anyway all of this is to say thank you for inspiration and for the really tasty drink.. which i had the chance to try.. and loved it..
ps.. u guys have the best pics on the net
Thanks! And we are stoked you played with the recipe (so did we). I hope the drink does well!
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