Sunday, September 14, 2008
Carpano Antica Formula: once again I succumb.
It really is never going to end. Just when I feel I couldn't possibly have another food or drink obsession, my friend and provider of edible and liquid pleasure Nancy, owner (along with her ever gracious husband Randy) of one of w and my favorite new spots to indulge in PDX, Bar Avignon, introduces me to this oh, so good elixir which I have found to be the perfect aperitif. Carpano Antica Formula from the distiller Branca is an Italian sweet vermouth that I have noticed popping up as an ingredient on more and more cocktail lists and I had admired it's very attractive old school Euro packaging. This is far from your standard Martini & Rossi vermouth. Much more intense, rounded, with wonderfully warming flavors of vanilla, dried fruit, orange peel, and other indescribables. A couple of weeks ago Nancy asked if I had ever tried it on its own. I hadn't, she insisted I must, and since I'm a boy who can't say no I soon found myself lost in another pleasure haze while slowly sipping this down. You could mix it in a cocktail I suppose, in a Manhattan or Negroni, but for those drinks I still prefer regular sweet vermouth (at home I use Boissiere). No, for me this is the perfect recipe: a clean, clear, small cocktail glass, two large ice cubes, two or tree ounces of Carpano, a stylish twist of orange peel....and a smile on my face!