Negroni Week 2: Maketto+We Have Ways of Making You Talk Cocktail Recipe
Last week, while we were posting our own Negroni recipes, we were out on the town tasting what other people were offering for Negroni Week.
This was our first time at Maketto, and it won’t be our last. They offer an almost impossible combination of the things we want from a bar. It was as laid back as it was trendy. The bartender matched her knowledge and expertise with an amiable approachability–a combination that is all too rare. The drinks were unpretentious and had a solid foundation, but they were also new and interesting. We felt like we were in great hands there, and we think you would too.
Maketto took Negroni Week more seriously than anyone we know, and that’s coming from people who are devoting ten blog posts to it. Their Negroni Week menu offered an education in vermouth (one of the quickest ways to our hearts) and a cornucopia of great Negroni options (another of the quickest ways to our hearts). There were 8 different Negroni options on the menu, 2 for each type of vermouth (dry, white, rose, and red), one more classic and the other a more adventurous one created by the house.
I was truly sad that I could only have just one, but the bartender shared with me the good news that their Negroni Week menu is not going away at the end of Negroni Week; it’ll serve as a jumping off point for their new seasonal menu featuring fortified wines. I love this place.
What We Ordered
We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Killepitsch, Puerh-Kaoliang, Carpano Antica
What We Thought
I drink and read about cocktails all the time. I regularly peruse the liquor store shelves to sweet what’s new and interesting. I read all the articles about the hidden gems and up and comers. And yet the world still has the capacity to surprise me with the diversity of ways we go about making alcoholic beverages.
Kaoliang is an over-proofed spirit made from sorghum. I think of sorghum as animal fodder, and indeed that’s what it mostly is; people will distill whatever they can. Maketto infused their Kaoliang with pu-erh, a fermented Chinese tea. The result was an assertive spirit with a very strong alcohol bite followed by a slightly funky bitter tea flavor.
Killepitsch is a German liqueur made with a strong herbal mix. It’s a somewhat more subtle alternative to Jagrmeister that is trying to make its way out of Dusseldorf and into the shot glasses of partiers around the world.
When these two very interesting liquors were added to the Carpano Antica, the result was an thick, inky brown, almost black. It was rich and sweet and bitter and had a bit of a roasted flavor, reminding me of a highly alcoholic, liquid brown bread. Entirely surprising and delicious.
We Have Ways of Making You Talk Cocktail Recipe
Let’s be honest here. You’re not going to make this drink. I wouldn’t even recommend it. I’m not even going to make it. I like knowing that Maketto has Killepitsch and is looking for ways to use it, but I’m not likely to regularly stock my own bar with it. We should all just go to Maketto together to try out their fortified wine menu. But if we were to pretend we were going to make it, here’s how we’d do it:
- 1 oz Killepitsch
- 1 oz Carpano Antica red vermouth
- 1 oz Kaoliang
- pu-erh tea leaves
- First infuse the Kaoliang. Infusing only one ounce might be difficult, and infusing the whole bottle might be overkill. I’d pour a cup of it into a mason jar or a small glass bottle, add a heaping teaspoon of tea leaves, and let them sit for a while, sort of like a Chinese moonshine sun tea. Strain before using.
- Combine 1 oz of the tea-infused Kaoliang, the Killepitsch, and the Carpano Antica with ice in a mixing glass. Stir well until the ice is half-melted.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.