VIENNA BY TRAIN
The Varnish, 2011
I stopped by The Varnish in Downtown Los Angeles late one night, looking for a spot to kick back and enjoy just one more sip that wouldn’t put me over the edge. With nothing specific in mind, I asked general manager Chris Bostick for something “tall and low-proof” and he obliged with a snap of the fingers, producing this stunning, friendly, and balanced delight.
It specifies Gran Clasico, made by Tempus Fugit Spirits up in Novato, north of San Francisco. It’s a bitter liqueur in the style of the great Italian amari like Montenegro and Ramazzotti. Track that down and the rest is probably already on hand: lime, orange, simple syrup, and the bubbles of your choice – seltzer, soda, or mineral water.
Hardware: Shaker, Jigger, Barspoon, Straw (optional)
Ice: Ice cubes, Cracked ice
Glassware: Collins glass
Mixers & Liqueurs: Gran Clasico, Simple syrup, Seltzer or tonic water (recommended: Fever-Tree) or sparkling mineral water (recommended: Pellegrino)
Juices, Accents, & Garnishes: Lime juice, Orange wedge
In a shaker about a third-full with ice cubes, add:
1 oz Gran Clasico
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Shake well to blend and chill, then strain into a Collins glass filled most of the way up with cracked ice. Top with:
2 oz seltzer, tonic water, or sparkling mineral water
Squeeze in the juice from one orange wedge and stir lightly to blend, then garnish with the orange wedge. Optionally, serve with a straw.