Mixology

A Summer Cocktail for Amaro Lovers from Lana Gailani of Pouring Ribbons

Get ready for lighter and brighter cocktail ingredients for summer—in complex configurations at Pouring Ribbons.

This cocktail is part of the Pouring Ribbons new summer menu…what else can we expect to see, ingredient-wise?
We’ve gone for lighter, brighter cocktails with pretty classic summer ingredients—we have a tequila negroni with muddled strawberry, we have a vodka cocktail with watermelon juice and soda, and a take on a pina colada with peach instead of pineapple. These drinks all have a bit of a twist to them, though—the watermelon cocktail features cachaca and amaro, and the pina colada sneaks in a bit of scotch.

You described this cocktail as a “beginners” introduction to Amaro…are you a fan? How do you like to use it?
I love amaros—they can add depth and complexity while using very small amounts due to their intensity. They can be spicy or herbaceous, sweet and/or bitter, sometimes quite earthy. On their own they make wonderful digestifs and I often have one as a nightcap. The amaro in Safe Word is Cardamaro, which is lighter in style, made with blessed thistle and cardoon, which is in the artichoke family. Its slight earthy tones match the malty qualities of the genever very well and help this cocktail come across almost more as a light whiskey drink than as one based on gin.

How did you get involved in mixing drinks?
I fell in love with mezcal. I’d worked in pastry before, and while waiting tables and working as a sommelier, I realized that I really missed *making* something every day. The craft. I had a job waiting tables at a restaurant with a very extensive agave collection (Empellon Cocina) and I realized that mezcal had a lot in common with wine, and if I managed to get behind a bar I could have everything I wanted. I could be a nerd and study spirits, make something with my hands every day, and meet new people all the time. So I started harassing them to let me behind the bar, and eventually they did.

Name your favorite summer sip:
Rosé all day!

What are your plans for Pride weekend?
I’m working Friday and Saturday, but Sunday is still up in the air…

Get the full spectrum of colorful recipes for our rainbow party in the PRIDE & JOY issue.