As the mixology movement shows no sign of slowing down, it’s possible to find a great craft cocktail in almost any part of the country. Case in point: The sophisticated VASO, a rooftop eatery and bar at the AC Hotel, just outside Columbus in Dublin, Ohio.
While in the summer it’s tempting to opt for the sparkling sangria, any time of year is great for The Full Montenegro, an Old Fashioned-style drink that brings together bourbon, bitters, and a good dose of Amaro Montenegro—orangey and friendly and amazing in whiskey drinks.
“The Italian amaro Montenegro brings in slightly sweet notes of vanilla and orange peels,” says assistant food and beverage manager Rebecca Monday, “while pulling out the natural vanilla notes from the bourbon, and highlighting the oak.” Honey adds a supporting richness, while chocolate bitters—and a quirky grating of milk chocolate on top—is a fun counterpart to those vanilla notes.
“Due to its perfect balance, I find this cocktail approachable for all seasons,” Monday says; “During dinner, by the fireplace, out with friends”—any and all of the above.
Warm with whiskey but perked up by its citrus elements, the Full Montenegro is a year-round crowd pleaser. Just stir, pour, and serve.
The Full Montenegro:
2 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 oz. Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz. honey syrup*
4 dashes chocolate bitters
Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain over a large rock in a rock glass. Garnish with a thin lemon slice and a shaving of milk chocolate.
*Equal parts honey and hot water, stirred until honey is dissolved.