Food Republic’s recent in-depth focus on Fernet likely inspired some to sip the spirit for the first time, though admittedly, delving into the bitter (in a good way) world of amaro can be a hit or miss process. For those who are still unsure of their stance, I would suggest trying Averna as a great gateway into amaro.
As far as utilizing Averna in a cocktail, the Little Easy is an easily achieved variant on the Sazerac, featuring Scotch instead of rye whiskey as the base, which is then complimented by a half ounce of Averna. Though Sazerac’s traditionally always have an Absinthe rinse, and this drink is no different, it does start to overpower the other spirits in this case, since the spiciness of the rye whiskey is no longer there to temper the anise. Definitely a lighter absinthe would be ideal, but as an alternative, perhaps infusing the Averna with fennel or other botanicals found in the absinthe would be a good way to achieve aromatic complexity, without resulting in too many competing flavors in the drink.
As always, it is good to experiment with proportions and swapping ingredients to attain the desired result, but regardless, this drink is an approachable and delicious expression of Averna in a cocktail, hopefully leading you to discover other amari, as well.
- 2 ounces Famous or Black Grouse Scotch
- 1/2 ounce Averna
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- 2 dashes Bitter Truth orange bitters
- absinthe rinse
- orange twist
- Put a rocks glass in the freezer
- Place sugar cube in a mixing glass with both bitters and muddle until emulsified.
- Add in Scotch and Averna, and then stir with ice for 15 seconds, achieving a 50% dilution level.
- Take chilled rocks glass and rinse or spray with Absinthe, discarding excess liquid.
- Strain mixing glass contents into chilled rocks glass and express oils from an Orange Twist, then garnish.