Bantamweight · Little Donkey

By Eric Twardzik · 09/08/2017

The Bantamweight may belong to a lower weight class, but it still packs a serious punch.

This low-ABV creation, served up by Cambridge’s Little Donkey, blends three distinct amaro liqueurs with lime, mint, and a house-made cinnamon syrup. The three amari in question—Cardamaro, Amaro di Angostura, and Punt e Mes—all possess bold flavors of their own but reach harmony alongside the rest of the drink’s ingredients.

“When it all comes together, it’s no longer bitter. It’s pleasant and balanced,” says head bartender Vikram Hegde.

A key component to that balance is cinnamon syrup, which calls for toasting cinnamon sticks in a pan before adding water and sugar.

“You get a slightly rich, more earthy syrup,” Hegde says. “The darkness of the cinnamon comes through more.”

The completed libation packs a riotous amount of flavor and a long cinnamon finish. It’s complex enough to savor for the better part of an hour—yet light enough to knock back a few before dinner.

1 ounce Cardamaro
¾ ounce Amaro di Angostura
¾ ounce Punt e Mes
½ ounce cinnamon syrup*
3-4 lime wedges
5-6 mint leaves

Muddle together lime wedges, mint leaves, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add spirits, then briefly shake without ice to combine ingredients. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a snifter glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve.

*Cinnamon Syrup (yields 1½ cups)
3 cinnamon sticks
¾ cup demerara sugar
½ cup water

Crack open cinnamon sticks and add to saucepan. Toast over low heat until cinnamon is aromatic. Keep heat on low and add water and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Strain into a sealed container and refrigerate for up to one month.

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