Nuggets of wisdom

Gems I took away from the barstaff at The Miranda, which just soft-launched in Oakland:

  • A pinch of salt or dash of saline isn’t just useful in negronis and other stirred cocktails; try it in daiquiris and gimlets too.
  • St. George’s Rye gin is great in stirred drinks. Conversely, why use a fine flavorful gin in a sour where it could get lost?
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The reason I made a beeline for The Miranda. The Room 237: Gancia Americano, Cocchi Americano, lemon, Agricanto, sparkling rose wine. The room 237 keychain is my own (a beloved tchotchke from Borderland Books).

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Amante Amaro, Heritage Tavern

The Amante Amaro at Heritage Tavern in Madison, WI. Cynar, Cynar 70, housemade artichoke tincture, guajillo pepper and porter syrup, lemon, fir tips.

amante-amaro

Though I didn’t sip the Amanate Amaro until August 2016, I’d first craved it in January, when someone sent me an image of its description on the menu.

Artichoke enthusiasts will note the layers here. Cynar AND Cynar 70? (Equal parts, I eventually learned.) Artichoke tincture boosts the flavors in the famously artichoke-inspired amaro — especially helpful if, like me, you find Cynar to taste inadequately of artichokes.

Upon learning of this drink I reached out to Heritage Tavern to ask about their housemade artichoke tincture. The detailed response underscored my firm belief that bartenders are the friendliest artists that an enthusiast can speak with. Here are some selections from the information that Bar Manager Clinton told me:
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