Logan Ronkainen, the bartender and mixologist at Gramercy’s Trattoria Il Mulino joined forces this past week with Milano Green Vodka to host a tasting event coined “Green Vodka and Ham,” a play on Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. The event featured creative cocktails using Milano’s vodka like Ill Daisy, A Greedy Buck, and a Milano Green Martini.
The cocktails were paired with traditional Italian antipasti, including prosciutto, salami, olives, and Parmigiano-Reggiano; the restaurant also served up their famous brick oven pizzas to guests who sampled a variety of treats including prosciutto and arugula as well as a gluten-free pizza topped with mushrooms and truffle oil.
Vik Shetty of Milano Green explained the subtleties of the vodka to guests as well as why it’s such a unique spirit. Only two years old, the Milan-based company strives to create smooth, unfiltered vodka. Ill Daisy incorporated the vodka with a mixture of other flavors including Amaro Montenegro, Oleo–Saccharum, and fresh lemon; as well as the Greedy Buck that mixed Ramazzotti with ginger and fresh lime. The tried and true vodka martini used Milano’s vodka paired with Dolin dry vermouth and a simple lemon twist, all crafted by Ronkainen.
“I followed the same guidelines that I’ve setup for our entire cocktail program at Trattoria Il Mulino. My goal is to incorporate Italian Amaros and Vermouths into classic cocktails. I sneak the Amaros and vermouths in because most consumers think they don't like them... when in reality there are delicious ways to use them all. We're up to over 25 Amaros and another 20–25 vermouths — all Italian,” said Ronkainen.
Milano Green as a brand is known for its highly pressurized distillation process that is only practiced in a handful of distilleries in the world. The vodka is a green product due to the fact that it is slow-cooked at a lower temperature that reduces energy consumption by half and preserves the integrity of the flavor, allowing it to enhance the flavor rather than compromise it with high-temperatures that reduce cooking time. “In all the cocktails, Milano Green gives me a beautiful neutral palate to build off of. It has a great body that stands up well when mixing with other modifiers,” noted Ronkainen.
The company itself is focused on sustainability on a number of factors, with one being that the bottles are made of recycled glass and caps, and the cases are made from recycled material.
Click here to watch Ronkainen serve up one of these creative cocktails.