Here’s one of many fantastic drinks I had during my first evening at Cure back home in New Orleans, finally getting there about four months after they opened.
Cynar is but one of many amaros I saw on the shelf behind the bar, Cure’s wonderful wall of booze. They had all my favorites, most of the ones readily available in the States, in fact, and then I spotted one that I’ve been having a hard time finding. Nobody in L.A. seems to have Amaro Nardini, which is produced by a maker of grappas and grappa-based liqueurs. Amaro Nardini is a grappa-based amaro too, with a flavor profile that (according to what I’d read) featured bitter orange, gentian and a bit of peppermint. I told Kirk I’d been wanting to try that one, so he poured me a taste. I tasted all that, plus a bit of nutmeg and clove, cinnamon, anise, a hint of coffee and a little candy sweetness, almost like toffee. Hoo, yum! Then Kirk smiled and asked if he could make me a cocktail with it. That’s a silly question. He then proceeded to apply a 2×4 to the side of my head … again, in the gentlest and best possible way.
(by Kirk Estopinal, Cure, New Orleans)
2-1/2 ounces Amaro Nardini.
1/4 – 1/2 ounces simple syrup (to taste).
1 whole egg.
Dry shake the egg for at least 20 seconds, then add the other ingredients with ice and shake hard. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and add a single large ice cube.
A flip, containing nothing else but simple and amaro. I’d never thought of it, and I’m not entirely sure but I think Kirk made it up on the spot. It was fantastic — creamy and rich and spicy and sweet … there’s a magic, an alchemy that happens when an egg yolk goes into a cocktail, as Maks and Kirk talk about in their book when they show you two whole egg-bearing drinks, one of which I’ve had and the other I haven’t. The Coffee Cocktail (port, brandy, whole egg, simple and Angostura) is named for its color rather than its flavor, and the Chocolate Cocktail #2 (ruby port, yellow Chartreuse and whole egg), which apparently tastes something like chocolate (“a mindfuck cocktail,” they call it). Whole eggs in cocktails, folks. It’s a good thing. Drink more flips!