There is something to say about refreshment and digestion. First of all let’s look at refreshment before a hearty meal.
Enter one of my favorite aperitifs. Branca Menta. Yes. I call it an aperitif that may shock some of you into thinking that Branca Menta’s big brother- Fernet is also an aperitif. It is most certainly NOT an aperitif. Classic Fernet will sting your mouth and flatten your taste buds because it's meant for after a good meal...
Whereas Branca Menta offers refreshment of unusual quality and passion. It's minty fresh!
Branca Menta has an interesting history and a list of secret ingredients. Sure it is made with Italian mint oil. In this case the mint is peppermint. Peppermint has long been known for its medicinal and digestive purposes.
Peppermint stimulates digestion when used as a digestive and gets the stomach juices flowing when used as a before dinner aperitif!
The crisp aromatics and full-bodied finish are unique in a marketplace filled with uncertainty. I’m not sure where to start, but Branca Menta is not a kid’s drink.
Sure it goes well with soda pop but you’ll want to experiment a bit more to use it properly. I’ve heard it mentioned as a wonderful way to make cola less cloying while offering a spark of goodness almost unheard of in this world of cinnamon flavored swill, masquerading as whiskey.
Branca Menta is refreshing and stimulating to the palate. Making it a win/win for stimulating the belly!
I just love it!
This is the time of year that Branca Menta really shines. I love weaving it into a mug of spicy hot chocolate. Basically I take regular hot chocolate- good stuff only- bitter- tangible- sensual and thick, European possibly or if you prefer a good domestic product like the one from Mast Brothers in Brooklyn...
I treat the hot chocolate to a product like Arizona Bitters Lab Mas Mole bitters. This is my secret ingredient for this cocktail that masquerades as a simple mug of hot chocolate.
It's anything but. It's healing in every sip. You must go, now. This very moment and buy a few bars of bittersweet chocolate. Melt them in a double boiler just so. Sweeten to taste. Add 3 or so ounces of Branca Menta and pour the whole concoction into a stout mug that you've washed with Absinthe first.
The Mephisto Absinthe is my choice for this very healing drink. Preheat your mug with boiling water. Pour it out.. add an ounce or so of the Mephisto Absinthe then top with the Branca Menta enrobed hot chocolate.
Finish with about four or five drops of the Az Bitters Lab bitters.
You can take it outside with you but please refrain from driving. This has a bit of a kick!
The Thicket Embowers
2 oz. Branca Menta
1/2 oz. Mephisto Absinthe
4 oz. Hot Chocolate of your own whims
Arizona Bitters Lab Mas Mole Bitters
Softly hand whipped cream
Preheat your stout mug made of ceramic please! No glass mugs allowed, tacky, tacky....!
Wash the inside of the steaming hot mug with the Mephisto Absinthe, pour the residue into your mouth- no need to waste good liquor!
Add the Branca Menta infused hot chocolate
Sweeten if need be
Spoon the cream over the top
Dot the thick cream with the spicy, chocolate driven bitters
My second book, Whiskey Cocktails is on the market now! Take a look at it here!