Drinks named after places are a fairly large subset of the classic cocktail repertoire. There's the Manhattan, of course; plus the Moscow Mule, the Singapore Sling, the Cuba Libre – even the Boulevardier implies a certain sense of place. But bibulous geographers are everywhere, and there are plenty of place-named cocktails you may never have heard of – like the Toronto.
I certainly hadn't. I've never seen it on a bar menu, but I ran across it while researching an earlier column on how to soften up Fernet-Branca for the amaro novice, and made a mental note. Then, when I noticed that Cynar had become easily available again (they're stocking it at both Orlando Total Wine stores), it seemed a bitters-forward drink was in the cards for November.
This Remix is a softer, more Southern Toronto, however – Cynar is itself less startling than Fernet-Branca, and I substituted bourbon for the rye. (I used Coopers' Craft, a new bourbon from Brown-Forman with a delicate flavor profile and an almost vanilla aroma.) The addition of pecan-infused maple syrup and blackstrap rum round out the autumnal sweetness – but don't sip too fast, it's a strong'un.
2 ounces rye
1/4 ounce Fernet-Branca
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir for 60 seconds and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange peel or a cherry.
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce blackstrap rum
1/4 ounce Cynar
1/2 ounce maple-pecan syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
First, make the syrup: toast 1 cup of roughly chopped pecans at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to a small saucepan with 1 cup of maple syrup. Simmer for five minutes and set aside to steep for 30 minutes, then strain out the nuts and cool the syrup.
Combine bourbon, rum, Cynar and syrup in an ice-filled shaker and shake to a 10 count. Strain into a coupe glass and add bitters.