Poets and romantics often speak of the contrasting emotions we often feel simultaneously, that sometimes we are happy and sad, and shed tears of joy, or that a love is bittersweet. And it is this contrast that we often crave in the food and cocktails we enjoy. For cooks, this duality is the essence that makes a dish interesting, and which we taste in classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, or Pisco Sour. So, playing with this theme, I wanted to create a cocktail to represent bittersweet love — presenting, the Pisco Dolce Amaro.
What is in the alchemy of this cocktail that represents bittersweet love? Start with the Pisco, and infuse it with papa seca from the Andes, this is the grounding element. Mix in some sweetness with anise, cloves, and cinnamon, a perfect pairing with the papa seca, and which fills this drink with harmony. Then add some Gran Classico Bitter, a medicinal tincture, with herbs and roots that will provide the amaro contrast to the dolce. Finally a gift of chocolate and flowers, in the form of bitters and a star anise complete this Pisco Dolce Amaro, a bittersweet tribute to love.
- 2 oz. Barsol Quebranta infused with papa seca
- 3/4 oz. Gran Classico Bitter
- 3/4 oz. simple syrup infused with cloves, cinnamon, and anise
- 2 dashes of chocolate bitters
- star anise for garnish
Combine the Pisco, Gran Classico, syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Served strained in a coupe and garnish with a star anise.
NOTES FOR PISCO INFUSION
To make the Pisco infused with papa seca, toast 1/4 cup of papa seca in a skillet and combine with 1 cup Quebranta Pisco and 1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar in a mason jar. Seal the jar, shake, and store for 24 hours. Strain before using the infused Pisco.
NOTES FOR SIMPLE SYRUP
To make the simple syrup infused with spices, combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, add 4 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon stick, and 1 teaspoon anise seeds. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Steep for 10 minutes, strain into a jar and let cool before using.