Amaro Ramazzotti and a little drink called The Pop Quiz
Ramazzotti. No, it’s not an Italian sports car, but doesn’t it sound like one? It’s yet another of the Amari digestivos. I don’t plan to cover all 300 of them, but I did want to at least give you a fair sampling. The recipe for Amaro Ramazzotti was developed in 1815 by Ausano Ramazzotti, a young Italian herbalist who owned a shop in Milan. Ausano wanted to create an Amaro that would appeal to a wide range of people, while still retaining its characteristic bitter style. After much trial and error he perfected a secret blend of 33 ingredients that included bitter orange and star anise, and named it Amaro Festina Ramazzotti. At this same time the first cafes were opening in Milan and this inspired Ausano to open his own type of cafe that served Amaro instead of coffee. His idea caught on and his Ramazzotti became the most popular Amaro in Italy. (Another very Italian thing to say – we all think we’re the favorite grandchild!) The Ramazzotti is still made today according to the same recipe which is said to be known by only 3 people.
Upon tasting the Ramazzotti the first thing that hits me is the orange flavor, as well as something deeper and darker that many people describe as root beer or caramel and that works here for me too. The finish is not quite as long as some of the other amari, but it’s definitely still there hitting me square in the nose. In the cocktail that I’m featuring today the Ramazzotti gives a spicy edge to the bourbon, and the chocolate bitters bind the entire drink together by acting as a flavor bridge between the two main spirits. This is a very easy drink to batch for a party, but it also goes down very easily too, so be forewarned!
Pop Quiz (General Lee’s Cocktail House in Los Angeles, posted on Instagram by @thirstyinla)
2 oz Elijah Craig Bourbon
½ oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 dash Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters
Orange twist for garnishing
Add all the ingredients (except the orange twist) to a mixing glass. Fill ⅔ full with ice. Stir with a long-handled bar spoon 30-45 seconds or until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass over one large cube using a Julep strainer. Twist an orange slice over the drink to express its oils and the garnish. Enjoy!