I strongly believe an aperitif elevates almost any dining experience to new heights. What is an aperitif? It is an alcoholic beverage that stimulates your appetite for an upcoming meal. There are a wide range of aperitifs. During my first trip to France I was introduced to the aperitif known as Kir Royale – which consists of champagne and creme de cassis. That became the start to each of my meals during an 5 day jaunt through Paris.
At a recent meal at Firefly in Noe Valley (http://www.fireflyrestaurant.com/), I was delighted to enjoy Antica Formula for the first time.
Antica Formula is an Italian red vermouth that promises to awaken your palette, providing a fresh crisp start to the meal. My Firefly cocktail was simple: Antica Formula on the rocks in a small tumbler glass with orange zest as a complementary garnish. The simple cocktail has a well-rounded flavor, with hints of vanilla and orange, and unlike other vermouths in its class, it is not overwhelmingly sweet.
I researched a few different cocktails you can make with Antica Formula and recommend the following recipe from Difford’s Guide 7:
2 parts Plymouth Gin
1 part Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1 part Carpano Antica Formula
1/4 part Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1/8 part Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Orange Zest Twist Garnish
Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange zest twist.