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Cocchi Americano


SeanMike
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I've been reading about Cocchi Americano - which is supposed to be much closer to the original Kina Lillet than today's Lillet blanc.

Does anywhere around here carry it? I find myself extremely interested in trying it in a Vesper...

Okay. now I've got the Cocchi (I was Joe's first customer for it, purely by happenstance). so what's your recipe for a Vesper?

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Okay. now I've got the Cocchi (I was Joe's first customer for it, purely by happenstance). so what's your recipe for a Vesper?

Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but.....

The Vesper

3 measures of Gordon's gin

1 measure of vodka

½ measure of Kina Lillet

Shake until ice cold and serve in a deep champagne goblet with a large thin slice of lemon peel

This cocktail was supposedly concocted by Bond in Casino Royale and named after the heroine. In fact it was a cocktail invented by Fleming and his friend Ivar Bryce.

Kingsley Amis, in The Book of Bond, claimed that Fleming had made an error in his recipe because the quinine in Kina Lillet would make the drink too bitter and it should be made with “Lillet vermouth” instead.

Probably Amis was referring to Lillet Dry, but what is certainly true is that Bond was a little out of touch – by the time Casino Royale was written the original drink was known simply as Lillet.

Unfortunately it is impossible to test Amis’ theory today; in 1986 the recipe was changed and the quinine content decreased to reduce bitterness. The result is a fruitier drink with a pronounced orange flavor.

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While I wouldn't use Gordon's in a drink like this, I find that it mixes better with most fruit juices than its tonier rivals (the harsher flavor mellows with the juice and you can actually taste gin when using it in this application) and so I always keep a bottle in my bar.

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I was not a real big fan of the bitter finish.

I found that the ratio of Cocchi to soda made a big difference--enough so that the lovely flavor isn't completely diluted, but not so much that the bitterness is too pronounced. I also enjoyed it more when I added a splash of meyer lemon simple syrup.

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As interesting as it is as a cocktail component, the Cocchi is really just wonderful on it's own, served chilled.

It's completely delicious served with some club soda on the rocks with your choice of citrus garnish. Very refreshing!

It also has the virtue of being relatively inexpensive (i.e., under $20/bottle) In fact, it's less expensive than Lillet.

I think that I'll have to keep a bottle in my fridge all spring and summer, so it's ready to go at all times :lol:

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As interesting as it is as a cocktail component, the Cocchi is really just wonderful on it's own, served chilled.

It's completely delicious served with some club soda on the rocks with your choice of citrus garnish. Very refreshing!

It also has the virtue of being relatively inexpensive (i.e., under $20/bottle) In fact, it's less expensive than Lillet.

I think that I'll have to keep a bottle in my fridge all spring and summer, so it's ready to go at all times :lol:

I will try it with club soda, I tried it on the rocks (as I would drink Lillet), and that is where the bitterness just overwhelmed me, but more surprisingly my Campari loving wife.

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Second one down, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, is in. Not as fruity as most other rouge/rosso vermouths, very complex. Full disclosure blah blah blah.

Passenger has it now. Fiola is getting it today. Retailers by this weekend.

Serious Eats recently published a collection of Negroni recipes from Jeff Faile, including this one using Cocchi Americano.

This is the article, with links to all four recipes.

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I still find Cocchi Americano to be unpalatably bitter, on the other hand this afternoon a rep for Indigenous selections poured a Contratto Vermouth Bianco which was far more balanced with enough sweetness to balance the bitter. He also was pouring the Contratto Vermouth Rosso which was complex and offered a nice balance of bitter and sweet along with a pleasing amount of spicing. I am looking forward to trying this in a Manhatten.

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