Friday, April 5, 2013

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 19

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I have fallen under the spell of Adriana Trigiani's books, and not just because we share a first name.  Well maybe a little bit because of that. I think so far I have read four of her books and each one has its own charm and enchantment. In The Shoemaker's Wife the charm is double-fold because I fell in love with both Enza, who is the said wife, and Ciro, who is the said shoemaker and husband. Both stories are interwoven from the time of both Enza and Ciro's youth and I think that there is enough editing and storytelling that we truly connect with where these characters are from, without ever getting bored. For this round of read a book, sip a cocktail I took inspiration from having both a feeling of Italy and America in the libation, which is something that we get from the novel. Enza and Ciro are connected to each other in many ways, but very important is this thread that inexorably ties them to their "mountain top". These are roots that both of them feel to their cores, but yet when they come to America they also begin to lay down roots in a new land, without ever forgetting of course where they come from. It is a clich√© that I know has been over-told time and time again, one that I as a first-generation Mexican American can relate to as well, even without having been born in another country, but knowing that feeling of being from two places at once. It is a tug that encompasses that feeling of home - of knowing in one moment that your soul is where it should be, where it emerged from, and where it will eventually return to, only that you feel it in more than one place.  The cocktail itself is a blend of bourbon, Disaronno, almond milk, cinnamon and shaved dark chocolate.  The result is a definite cerise and almond-like sweetness mixed with the potency of the bourbon and the comforting richness of the almond milk and chocolate. I think this would make a great before or after dinner drink and I'm calling it "Up on the Mountain Top" in honor of that place that both Enza and Ciro loved, left, and always returned to even if it was simply in their hearts.
“Ciro took Enza's face in his hands. "I have loved you all of my life. I was a boy who knew nothing, but when I met you, somehow I understood everything."”(from The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani)
Up on the Mountain Top
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Disaronno*
3 oz. Almond Milk
Shaved dark chocolate for garnish

How to: Prep your glass by adding a few ice cubes to it and setting it aside.  In a cocktail shaker mix more ice, bourbon, Disaronno, almond milk, and a pinch of cinnamon.  Shake for at least 20-25 seconds. Serve over ice and dust some more cinnamon and the shaved dark chocolate on top. I used a wine glass to serve, but feel free to use a rocks glass or a tumbler. Also, the cinnamon got away from me when I first sprinkled it, so I had to take some off before I drank the cocktail. *Disaronno is a brand of amaretto, which is normally made of almonds or apricot pits. However there are no almonds or nuts in Disaronno, it is made of apricot kernel oil, alcohol, sugar and a blend of herbs and fruits. Feel free to substitute any amaretto liqueur for this recipe.

Shaving the dark chocolate which also had some almonds in it.

Before the excess cinnamon dusting.

After I removed the excess cinnamon and enjoyed a few sips.

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