Events

  • Amaro After Dark: Book Release Party

    October 11, 2016
    Time TK

    Maialino
    Gramercy Hotel
    2 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY 10010

  • Amaro Power Hour: Cocktail Party, Bocce & Bonfire

    October 17, 2016
    6:30PM - 9:30PM

    Porcellino's Craft Butcher
    711 West Brookhaven Circle
    Memphis, TN 38117

  • Whole Hog Barbecue & Amaro Party

    October 18, 2016
    6:00PM - 10:00PM

    The 404 Kitchen
    404 12th Avenue
    Nashville, TN 37203

  • Amaro Talk & Tasting

    October 20, 2016
    Time TK

    High Wire Distilling Co.
    652 King Street
    Charleston, SC 29403

  • Amaro Power Hour: Cocktail Party & Book Signing

    October 20, 2016
    Time TK

    Edmund's Oast
    1081 Morrison Drive
    Charleston, SC 29403

  • Amaro After Dark: Talk & Tasting

    October 21, 2016
    8:00PM - 10:00PM

    The Crunkleton
    320 West Franklin Street
    Chapel Hill, NC 27516

  • Amaro Talk & Tasting

    October 22, 2016
    4:00PM - 5:00PM

    Fox Liquor Bar
    237 South Wilmington Street
    Raleigh, NC 27601

  • Amaro Power Hour: Cocktail Party & Book Signing

    October 22, 2016
    5:00PM - 8:00PM

    Fox Liquor Bar
    237 South Wilmington Street
    Raleigh, NC 27601

  • Amaro Talk & Tasting

    October 22, 2016
    4:00PM - 5:00PM

    Fox Liquor Bar
    237 South Wilmington Street
    Raleigh, NC 27601

  • Amaro Talk & Book Signing (with Fernet Francisco)

    October 28, 2016
    6:30PM - 7:30PM

    Omnivore Books
    3885 Cesar Chavez Street
    San Francisco, CA 94131

  • "Haunted Hangover" Bitter Boozy Brunch Party

    October 30, 2016
    Time TK

    The Carlile Room
    820 Pine Street
    Seattle, WA 98101

  • Amaro Talk & Cocktails

    November 1, 2016
    6:00PM - 7:00PM

    Barnacle
    4743 Ballard Avenue NW
    Seattle, WA 98107

  • Amaro Power Hour: Cocktail Party & Book Signing

    November 1, 2016
    7:00PM - 9:00PM

    Barnacle
    4743 Ballard Avenue NW
    Seattle, WA 98107

  • Amaro Talk & Tasting

    November 2, 2016
    6:00PM - 8:00PM

    Hot Stove Society
    Hotel Andra
    2000 Fourth Avenue
    Seattle, WA 98121

  • Amaro Talk & Book Signing

    November 3, 2016
    6:30PM - 7:30PM

    Book Larder
    4252 Fremont Avenue North
    Seattle, WA 98103

  • Amaro Power Hour: Cocktails, Pizza & Bowling Party

    November 5, 2016
    12:00PM - 3:00PM

    Highland Park Bowl
    5621 North Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90042

  • "Taste the Book Cover" Vintage Amaro Tasting

    November 13, 2016
    3:00PM - 5:00PM

    Billy Sunday
    3143 West Logan Boulevard
    Chicago, IL 60647

  • Amaro Talk & Tasting with Paul McGee

    November 13, 2016
    7:00PM - 9:00PM

    The Milk Room
    Chicago Athletic Association
    12 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603

  • Book Release Party: Cocktails & Book Signing

    November 14, 2016
    7:00PM - 10:00PM

    Billy Sunday
    3143 West Logan Boulevard
    Chicago, IL 60647

  • Book Release Party: Cocktails & Book Signing (with Don Ciccio & Figli)

    November 19, 2016
    4:00PM - 6:00PM

    Masseria
    1340 4th Street NE
    Washington, DC 20002

  • Amuse with Amaro: Cocktails, Tasting & Book Signing

    December 3, 2016
    2:00PM - 4:00PM

    Abe Fisher
    1623 Sansom Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

Bitters on the Big Screen

angostura bitters

Photo: Brad Thomas Parsons

Last Friday I caught a late afternoon matinee of Crazy Stupid Love. Much of the action takes place at a slick pick-up joint of a bar, where Ryan Gosling’s Jacob prowls the room looking for a new conquest using his closer, “Let’s get out of here.” While Jacob always has a timeless old-fashioned in his hand, Steve Carell’s sad sack Cal nurses an emasculating vodka and cranberry through a skinny straw. (On straws in alcoholic drinks: unless it’s a tropical drink or a mint julep, whose intentionally short straw serves as a lure to get your nose closer to the aromatic bouquet of mint garnish, I do think a gentleman should part ways with the straw.)

But in addition to the dialogue on the screen I was treated to two hours of not-so sotto voce back and forth between the elderly couple seated directly behind me as the gentleman repeatedly demanded a replay of the action from his wife.

Him: What?!?
Her: “Bat shit crazy.”

Him: What?!?
Her: “Tiny schwanz.”

Him: What?!?
Her: “Mr. Miyagi.”

My favorite audience-participation moment, though, was when Jacob brings Hannah, played by Emma Stone, back to his place. He makes two old-fashioneds, the camera fetishizing the ritual: dotting the sugar cube with Angostura bitters, muddling the bitters-soaked sugar cube (with a bespoke muddler!), ice, bourbon (Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Reserve!), and finishing with a thick swath of orange peel.

When the bottle of Angostura, with its distinctive yellow cap and oversized label, made its big-screen cameo, Mr. and Mrs. Miracle Ear piped up once again:

Him: “What’s he doing with that?!?
Her: “Slipping her a Mickey.”

Esquire recently called “old-fashioned, no fruit” the manliest drink order a fellow can ask for at the bar, so it’s natural that too-cool-for-school Jacob doesn’t make a fruit salad out of his drink by adding a muddled cherry and orange to the mix. My favorite version of the old-fashioned is served at Prime Meats in Brooklyn: Rittenhouse 100 rye, simple syrup, housemade pear bitters (made with pears picked from the pear tree next to the restaurant), a big chunk of hand-chipped ice, and a lemon peel garnish. The last time I encountered fruit in my old-fashioned was at John Currence’s Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi. Made with Blanton’s bourbon, Demerara syrup, homemade bacon bitters, and a muddled cherry and orange slice. The sweet-and-smoky cocktail went down like boozy candy and I went back for two more (and didn’t question my manhood one bit).