Who Drinks This Stuff?

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The other day at Gelson’s, I was looking for almond grappa to make Franny’s toasted almond gelato (shockingly, I was unsuccessful) and during my search I spied the bottle you see above. Who drinks this stuff? First of all, I think it’s hilarious that it translates to “The Spirit of Paris” and the flavor is “Red Velvet Cake.” How is red velvet cake even remotely in the spirit of Paris? Second of all, as Regina Schrambling recently Tweeted, “red velvet” is not a flavor. It’s a bunch of red food coloring added to a cocoa cake. So what, exactly, do people think they’re drinking when they drink Red Velvet Cake Sparkling liqueur?

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Discovering Amaro

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Recently, the L.A. restaurant Sotto invited me in to experience their new cocktail menu. Having been to Sotto before I knew I couldn’t just go there for cocktails, the food is too good. So I made an actual reservation and while the restaurant comped two cocktails (I had the grapefruit-y Modest Mouse with Espolon reposado tequila, Averna, Punt e Mes, Angostura orange bitters, Pamplemousse rose, and grapefruit oil; Diana, my date for the night, had the lovely Swept Away with Martin Millers Westbourne strength gin, Saler’s gentiane, Nardini amaro, Benedictine, and house orange bitters) the alcoholic highlight, by far, was the Amaro they let us try at evening’s end.

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