I was listening to the Bartender Journey podcast the other day and Brian had an excellent interview with Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo, a fascinating-sounding bar in New York that I really must visit. So when I saw that one of the cocktails features on the Amaro Montenegro page was created by Max Green of that bar, I just had to give the Professoressa Montenegro a try. This was good as I had a lemon i'd been using for garnish that I wanted to use before it went bad and it seemed like a great use for the Cinnamon Syrup I'd made in large quantity a while ago.
This is really a lovely, well-balanced cocktail. The strawberry comes through on the sip and the fresh cucumber juice is nicely astringent after that. It really makes the Amaro Montenegro shine, which was the whole purpose of the cocktail.
I tried to replicate this one as best I could, but I don't have access to the fancy ice machine that Max does in Amor y Amargo (and no, I'm not planning on putting one into the apartment.) I made some compromises with the ice; I used crushed ice (I hammered a clear ice cylinder I'd made for an ice sphere) in place of the pebble ice. Using the (mostly) clear crushed ice worked well; I didn't experience a lot of dilution as I sipping on this one. All in all, it was a fair amount of work for an afternoon's cocktail, but worth it.
- 2 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- 1 oz fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz fresh Cucumber Juice
- 1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 2 medium Strawberries
- Cut the strawberries in half and muddle them in a shaker
- Add the rest of the ingredients, throw in a couple of ice cubes and shake to chill.
- Double-strain into a large wine glass and top with crushed ice
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a burnt cinnamon stick, throw in a couple of straws, and enjoy sipping this one!
Making the cucumber juice is easy. Peel a cucumber, slice off and discard the ends, cut it into pieces and puree it in a food processor or blender. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, using a spatula to press on the pulp to extract all of the juice. 1 cucumber makes a few ounce of juice, which will last a week in the fridge.