On my latest trip to my dad’s house, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a gander in his liquor cabinet. My dad used to own a fancy Italian restaurant so I figured I could find something unique. I was not disappointed.
The first thing to catch my eye was a bottle of A. Pisanti China China, which I promptly grabbed and took home (don’t worry, I doubt it’s rare or expensive).
China is an amaro made from the bark of the cinchona, a tree native to Peru and the surrounding area. The bark is a source of quinonine and gives China its deliciously bitter taste.
With the stolen bottle in my possession, I decided to make a drink.
A Variation on the Liberal Cocktail
1 ½ oz rye
1 oz sweet vermouth
½ oz China China
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange zest twist
In an ice-filled mixing glass, add all liquids and stir well to chill and combine. Strain into a coupe. Zest a large piece of orange peel, twist to express the oils, and drop into the glass.
The Liberal is similar to the Manhattan, but with the added quinonine kick. It also has a distinctively orange flavour from both the orange bitters and the China China.
It’s the perfect drink to make with a $150 bottle of liquor “borrowed” from your parent’s cabinets. What?? I plan on returning it.
On second thought, my dad doesn’t read this blog….