Recently Amusespot introduced, in collaboration with Alessi of Italy, a gold-plated version of the boston shaker set designed by Ettore Sottsass. Originally designed in 1979, the Sottass boston shaker was the first to be produced in Europe and was designed with Alberto Gozzi, gastronomy and hospitality consultant.
Mr. Gozzi has been associated with the John White Course and was the superintendent of kitchen and kitchen at the Quirinal Palace, the presidential palace in Rome. The introduction of the bar set in 1979 coincided with a visit by notables from the world’s bartenders to the Alessi factory in Crusinallo, Italy. During this summit, two cocktails were designed and dedicated to Alessi and the Programma 5 project by Sottsass & Gozzi.
The bartender participants were members of the International Bartenders Association (I.B.A.) and represented 18 different countries.
Here are the doses and the ingredients:
The problem with making vintage cocktails is that the ingredients are often no longer available. Liqueurs fall out of favor; in some cases, such as Tom Gin, it appears that even ‘resurrected’ liquor may be, at best, a guess at the original product.
The above cocktails were designed to be used with the boston shaker. The Alessi Cocktail is meant to be shaken, while the G.A. Cocktail should be stirred. Both Cordial Campari and China Martini are no longer available in the U.S. market (and, perhaps, worldwide). With a bit of research and some help from a few friends (Kin Lui, photographer & Ken Santiago, Bartender) Amusespot replicated these vintage cocktails. (Nick & Nora glasses also available at Amusespot.)
The Alessi Cocktail
Made to be shaken, the Alessi Cocktail consists of a balance between two Campari products: Bitter and Cordial, with additional liquid & alcohol provided by vodka. The bitter version of Campari is readily available. The cordial, is not. The cordial version is evidently similar to a raspberry eau de vie- except that eau-de-vies in America, in particular, can range from Grappa-esque to extremely sweet. We chose to substitute Chambord, which is medium sweet, for this cocktail.
Proportions are 3: 1 :1.5, Vodka:Bitter:Chambord
Overall flavor: Strong bitter citrus. Refreshing but a bit unbalanced, in our opinion. We decided against adding additional ingredients but did change sugar content, etc. before deciding on the above proportions. The visual of bubbles after straining is gorgeous.
The G.A. Cocktail
A modified manhattan. the G.A. Cocktail specifies China Martini, which we were unable to locate in Nevada. China Martini is Martini & Rossi’s brand of calisaya bitters, which utilize cinchona bark as a source for bitter flavor. Quinine (the bitter in tonic and palate) is also sourced from cinchona bark. Variations of the “China” name are chin-china or quinquina based on spelling pronunciation.
As a replacement we chose Byrrh, A ‘Grand Quinquina” dating back to 1866 and produced in France.
Proportions are the same.
Well balanced and even more pleasurable over time.
Thank you to the Anthem Country Club, Kin Lui, & Ken Santiago.