As my wife would say, “If you like drinks that taste like cough syrup or poison…”. But, I’d like to think of this as a more interesting play on a Negroni, which is where I started. If you’re not familiar with a negroni, it’s equal parts of gin, campari and sweet vermouth. Having recently acquired a bottle of Bësk, a wormwood liquor similar to Malört, I thought I could use it in place of the campari. I also had a bottle of Amaro Meletti, a sweet amaro with hints of saffron and violet, which I thought could stand-in for the sweet vermouth. To be honest, on it’s own, the meletti comes off a bit like old lady perfume. I decided to keep the gin to solidly anchor the cocktail, and chose Commonwealth Gin from James River Distillery.

Bësk Yet

Bësk Yet

I gave it a shot and mixed one up. As I suspected, it was delicious, if you like bitter cocktails. The bësk is not the easiest liquor to find. I picked mine up at The Wine Source in Baltimore. If you like the glass, it’s a Nick & Nora from Steelite’s vintage lace and dots line. Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

1 oz Letherbee Bësk

1 oz Amaro Meletti

1 oz Commonwealth Gin

Stir on ice until well chilled. Pour into a chilled glass of your choice, with or without additional ice. An orange twist might be nice. I didn’t use one. Enjoy

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Chris Spear