My Don Ciccio Manhattan
I was walking home yesterday after doing a few errands. I was walking from east to west on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village when just a little over a block from my apartment at Macdougal & Bleecker and normally I would continue west on Bleecker for one block then make a left onto Avenue of The Americas. However I decided to take a slight detour as I wanted to pass Dante NYC (Cocktail Lounge) to see if I spotted any friends there. So I made the left on Macdougal Street heading south. As I approached Dante, I saw someone covering part of his face to under his eyes with a napkin as to hide his face and joke around with me. I got closed and my friend Kresh removed the napkin and revealed his face. He was there with my pal Vince and he started laughing, and saying,”Danny’s here. We’re complete.” I was glad to see them and sat down. They already had a couple Negroni’s in front of them. We started chatting and I knew I was in for a good time. Yes of course, as one should be whenever going out for cocktails. We were talking when the waitress came over and asked if I wanted a cocktail as well? “Hell Yeah,” I thought to myself, and also was thinking what I wanted t drink, and of course I decided on a Negroni, after all, it was Negroni Time at Dante. And so I ordered one, which between the hours of 4-6, they cost $10 instead of the normal $14 during non-Happy Hour hours. This is good.
We were all chatting and having a good time when my Negroni arrived at the table, so now I could join in on the drinking and we were having a most wonderful time. Then Kresh’s friend Jay came. He ordered a cocktail with flowers in it, and I can’t remember he name.
Well, my three friends that I was at the table with, are all in the wine business selling wine in New York City. My friends Kresh also makes his own wine in Croatia, and sells it to several restaurants and wine bars (Bacari) in Venice, including one of Venice’s most wonderful restaurants of all, Al Covo. This is very cool, and Kresh was showing me a video of him actually delivering the wine by boat to Al Covo. Again, “very Cool.”
So we were having a good old time at Dante and Kresh and Jay ordered a second drink, so I figured I’d get one as well. M y Negroni was good, but I wanted something different this time around, so I was to thinking what to get. I had seen a Manhattan made with Amaro instead of Sweet Vermouth, and I thought’d like to get one of those, so when the waitress came by, I asked her if she had one of those on the cocktail menu. When I explained the drink to her, she said they din’t have that on the menu, but of course the bartender would make one for me, if that’s what I wanted. “Cool.” So I had to think about what kind of Whiskey to get, and which Amaro I wanted in place of the Sweet Vermouth. I inquired about the Amaro, and she brought me a list of Amari. I wanted to get one I’d never had before and so I chose Don Ciccio. The waitress took my order, and after probably 15 minutes, maybe more, my friends started wondering about my drink. Kresh said, “Where’s your drink. It’s taking a while.” I wasn’t worried. Hey they were busy. The drink came, and it was well worth the wait. The presentation was beautiful. My Amaro Manhattan looked great in its cocktail glass, and not just that, but there was a tiny little carafe filled with more of my Manhattan inside, and it was on Ice & Garnished with Luxardo Cherries and an Orange Twist to boot. We all admired the presentation and everyone thought it was just great. And so I took a sip of my cocktail. “Delicious!” I loved my Amaro Manhattan, and thoroughly enjoyed it,
After a while, Kresh brought up, us going for dinner. We talked it over, and decided to go to one of our favorites, and especially our “Red Sauce Club,” which is our little group who go out to eat at Old School Italian Restaurants around New York. John’s on East 12th Street (Since 1908) is one of our favorites, and we decided to go over there.
Anyway, as usual, we had a great time at Dante. The place is a bit expensive, but we always have a nice time, so, “Ce la Vie.”
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
July 2, 2019
KRESH and VINCE
My FAVORITE AMARO
HOW to MAKE an AMARO MANHATTAN
2 ounces RYE WHISKEY (Bulleit, Mitchers, Templeton)
1 Ounce Amaro of Choice (Averna, Lucano, Nonnino, Ramazzotti)
1 Dash of Angosura Bitters
1 Maraschino Cherry
1 Orange Peel (optional)
Fill a cocktail glass with Ice and some water, to cool the glass.
Place ice in a cocktail shaker (half full).
Add a dash of Angostura Bitters to shaker.
Add the Rye Whiskey and Amaro.
Mix with with you cocktail spoon for i minute.
Discard ice from the cocktail glass. Place a strainer over the cocktail shaker and add the contents to the cocktail glass, minus the ice.
If using a orange peel (optional) add it now.
Serve and enjoy.
READ About COCKTAIL TIME in POSITANO
The AMALFI COAST
TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK
Of POSITANO The AMALFI COAST
How to Make a NEGRONI