The Law of Octaves · La Brasa

By Eric Twardzik · 07/19/2019

East Somerville’s La Brasa serves up The Law of Octaves, a Manhattan variant with enough spiced flavor to match the restaurant’s wood-fired fare. A base of rye whiskey gives it a spice kick from the get-go, and the decision to bench sweet vermouth in favor of the rhubarb-based Italian amaro Zucca Rabarbaro takes it in an entirely new direction.

“It’s a little twist on a classic, bringing a different fruit to the front of the mixture instead of cherry,” says bar manager Mary-Margaret Gallup.

Rhubarb isn’t the only note the amaro brings to the fore—it’s also peppered with cardamom and bitter orange peel. Those spiced qualities are further accented by a single dash of 18.21’s Prohibition Aromatic Bitters, which are packed with notes of cinnamon and clove.

“It’s a little bit smoky almost, with lots of those traditional mulling spice flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg,” Gallup says of the finished product.

As a cousin of the Manhattan, The Law of Octaves remains dark and boozy. But you’re less likely to remember those two descriptors once the last sip has been taken: you’ll be distracted by the lingering spice and cinnamon at the tip of your tongue.

The Law of Octaves
To flame your orange peel garnish, hold it over the surface of the drink, pith side up, and carefully hold a lit match just below the skin side. Pinch the peel to release its oils, which will be ignited on impact with the flame.

2 ounces Old Overholt rye
1 ounce Zucca Rabarbaro
1 dash 18.21 Bitters Prohibition Aromatic Bitters
Flamed orange peel, for garnish 

Add all ingredients except orange peel to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with flamed orange peel.

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