Una Pimenta · SRV

By Eric Twardzik · 10/11/2019

To craft an autumnal riff on the Sidecar, SRV bar manager John Benevides looked to Jamaica, of all places, for inspiration.

His Una Pimenta cocktail contains two of the Sidecar’s indispensable ingredients—cognac and lemon juice—but swaps out the usual Cointreau for Hamilton Pimento Dram, a Jamaican export that blends pot-still rum with sugar and the Jamaican pimento berry (which you might know as allspice) to produce a rich bouquet of autumnal aromas.

“[Pimento dram] encompasses all of the things you think of as ‘warming spices’— nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, all in one,” Benevides says.

In keeping with the Venetian concept of the South End restaurant, Benevides also introduces the very Italian ingredient Contratto Bianco to the mix. Containing nutmeg and clove as botanicals, the Contratto Bianco adds its own subtle layers of warming spice, which are in turn deepened by the pimento dram.

Taken together, those spicy flavors create an instant holiday state of mind. Yet refreshing citrus and tart apricot bitters prevent Una Pimenta from too closely resembling a spice cake.

For the garnish, Benevides takes another page from the Sidecar playbook and adds a half-rim of Demerara sugar to the glass.  In addition to adding visual appeal, the crystalline garnish provides a built-in chaser for the spice.

Una Pimenta
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand Original Formula 1840 Cognac

1 ounce Contratto Bianco Vermouth
½ ounce Hamilton Pimento Dram
¼ ounce lemon juice
1 dash apricot bitters
Demerara sugar, for garnish

Garnish a Nick and Nora glass with a half-rim of Demerara sugar. Add all remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into the prepared glass.

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