Photos by James Eastman
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” A timeless saying that rings true in many applications, cocktails being no exception. But what happens when you begin with parts that are exceptional on their own? Deliciousness happens, in the form of what could be an instant classic—Three Easy Pieces.
This cocktail is the brainchild of Ryan Ecklund of The Strip Club Meat & Fish. Ryan has sensibilities that we admire—use quality ingredients, proportion them properly, and get out of their way. With Equal parts Letherbee Vernal Gin1, Cocchi Americano2, and Carpano Antica3, this cocktail is as easy to sip as it is to construct. Don’t let the minimalist ingredient list and equal proportion recipe fool you. This is a cocktail that has layers of flavor and both bitter and sweet notes to please a wide variety of palates.
1. Based in Chicago, Letherbee produces Vernal gin seasonally. Its Provencal Rose hue is derived from cinchona bark, which also lends a touch of bitterness. Fragrant and versatile, this gin is available at a variety of shops in the Twin Cities, including South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis and Solo Vino in St. Paul.
2. Cocchi Americano: an aperitif wine from the Asti province of Italy with a taste similar to Lillet.
3. Carpano Antica: an Italian vermouth made by the same company that supposedly invented vermouth, with hints of cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmalade, cinnamon, licorice, and toffee.
Three Easy Pieces
Equal parts Letherbee Vernal Gin, Cocchi Americano,
and Carpano Antica
Add Easy & Oskey Orange Bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with clean ice. Stir for 20–30 seconds to dilute and chill. Strain into a coup or martini glass, garnish with orange peel, and add 3 drops of Easy & Oskey Orange bitters.
At your next large gathering, consider this cocktail as a base for a delicious punch. The great part is you can buy the ingredients in the exact proportions needed—one 750ml bottle each of the gin and Cocchi Americano, plus two 375ml bottles of Carpano Antica. Combine everything in a large pitcher or punch bowl and add orange slices, orange bitters, and something with bubbles, such as sparkling water, Cava, or ginger beer. Party cocktails don’t get much better or easier than that.