The Melee Cocktail in 12 seconds …

by KeithP on September 14, 2010

Not too long ago I let my fingers do the walking while on You Tube and stumbled across a variety of cocktail videos including an interesting serious called “in 12 seconds” produced by Lush Life Productions that highlights some of the Big Apples best bartenders including Jason Littrell of Death & Co., Lindsay Nader of PDT, Gianfranco Verga of the Tippling Bros. and others doing drinks in … you guessed it, 12 seconds.  I have a few interesting drinks teed up for posting based on this series and the first up is one that caught my eye and based on several taste attempts at the home base has proven to be a fantastic drink.

When I first attempted the Melee one of the aspects of this drink that caught my mixology eye was its relative simplicity.  Four ingredients, three in equal proportions, and while some of the ingredients might be a bit out there (an amaro and a fino sherry) it is not all that hard to reproduce.  My focus on this drink was to center on the simplicity aspect of it but after reproducing several times, tasting and making notes I decided that to categorize this drink in the “simplicity” category was to do it a sort of injustice.  In fact this drink is quite complex in its own right and helped to jar me from my tendency to describe drinks as simple in construction without giving proper context.  Any adventurer in the land of tiki knows full well what complexity can entail — several different spirits, citrus and sweetening agents all brought together to create a drink that is more then the sum of its parts.  Yet when you make a proper Manhattan (or an Old Fashioned or a Martini, etc) you get the same effect, one of multiple layers of flavor, richness and subtleties that are more then what went in to the mixing glass.

The Melee Cocktail

The Melee cocktail has a few semi-common ingredients mixed up in the proper proportions to yield a wonderful result.  Rich, complex and incredibly satisfying this drink is layer upon layer of niceness. So why did I think to call it simple. This drink is simple in the best way possible — pretty easy to construct and yet yielding of so much more then its component parts.  That is simplicity to me and my new standard by which to use such a term.  Give this one a go if you want something different to try.

Melee Cocktail
Recipe created by Gianfranco Verga at the Tippling Bros. and adapted by theSpeakista

•    1 oz gin (Bombay Sapphire)
•    1 oz Meletti Amaro (Ramazzotti was subbed in as I’m currently light on amari)
•    1 oz fino sherry (Del Duque Amontillado Viejo was used as that is what I had)
•    1/4 oz Cherry Heering
•    Garnish: lemon twist
Glass: rocks glass
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing glass with plenty of cracked ice and stir for at least 30 seconds until well chilled. Strain the mixture into the serving glass that has been filled with ice, express the oils from the twist over the glass, rub the rim of the glass and insert the twist into the glass.  Sip, enjoy and repeat.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 4  stars (out of 5)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

dmdg October 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

sick ass and you’re right fk you James Bond!

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