Open & Shut Brandy Cocktail

This recipe allows for a lot of flexibility. With your favorite brandy on hand, simply add amaro for an easy-to-make sipper.
Open & Shut cocktail / Photo by Aaron Graubart

Courtesy Julia Momose, Partner/Creative Director, Kumiko, Chicago

Brandy comes from a wide range of provenances and is available at an array of prices. Select one that you enjoy sipping straight to create mixed drinks just as wonderful. Try a V.S.O.P. (Very Special/Superior Old Pale) Cognac: It’s delicious, but not too old or rare to mix. Another solid option is an Armagnac, made in the Armagnac region of Gascony. It’s a favorite before-bed nip (with a square of dark chocolate) of several industry pros. After you find your brandy Goldilocks, mix it with amaro for a low-maintenance nightcap.

The Scaffa

Nope, we didn’t skip a step in this recipe. This is a scaffa, a room-temperature­ cocktail made without ice. There’s some debate as to what the word means. Was it the creator’s family name? Does it refer to an old Italian word for “cupboard,” as in, to use whatever ingredients are available within it? Either way, the spirits have no chill or dilution to hide behind. So, in this case, reach for top-shelf options. “Simply build in the glass, retire to bed, sip and ease yourself into slumber,” says Momose.

Ingredients
  • 1½ ounces Amaro Lucano
  • ½ ounce Cognac
  • Lemon or orange peel, for garnish
Directions

Combine ingredients in rocks glass with no ice. Garnish with peel, if desired.

Published on September 24, 2018
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip. and NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, which debuts in September 2018. Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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