"We could slip away
Wouldn't that be better?"
The bittersweet lyrics of "Autumn Sweater," from Yo La Tengo's 1997 album, "I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One," serve as the source material for the melancholy change-of-season shoegazer. Serve it over a large block of ice, or over an ice sphere — even better to evoke a fat harvest moon hanging in the nighttime sky.
Made in Sicily since 1868, Averna is a syrupy, bitter herbal liqueur. It isn't overpowering, though, and is a great gateway amaro if you're interested in exploring potable bitters. Amaro Nonino is another mild Italian digestif whose caramel color and warm, spicy burnt-orange notes round out the full fall flavors here. Wrap yourself in an Autumn Sweater and embrace what the season has in store for you.
Adapted from "Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All" by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
- 1 ounce rye
- 1/2 ounce Averna
- 1/2 ounce Amaro Nonino
- 1/2 ounce maple syrup
- Dash of Urban Moonshine maple bitters
- Dash of orange bitters
- Thick clove-studded strip of orange zest, for garnish
Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled. Add a large sphere of ice to a chilled double old-fashioned and strain the drink into the glass.
For the garnish, use a paring knife to slice a thick strip of zest from an orange. Twist it over the drink to release the essential oils and rub along the rim of the glass. Stud the orange zest with 2 whole cloves and drape it over the ice sphere.