Bitterness is in this year, particularly in cocktails. Before a meal, it makes sense: Things that are just a little bitter can make your mouth water, and that whets your appetite.
One of my discoveries this year has been the Italian vermouth, Carpano Antica. Now a big bottle lives in the back of my refrigerator, ready to give a hit of bitterness to a few special cocktails.
Tangy Bourbon Cider Fizz
Adapted from Seriouseats.com.
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 ounces Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce fresh apple cider
2 to 4 ounces sparkling water
PLACE the brown sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass and squeeze in the lemon half. Add the Carpano Antica, bourbon and cider. Add several cubes of ice and top with sparkling water.
YIELD: 1 serving.