There’s a drink Affäre bartender Chase Ihde came up with a couple years ago that he brings back annually around Valentine’s Day. It’s a play on a classic cocktail called the Boulevardier, which has a fun backstory itself: The recipe — a combination of Campari, Italian vermouth and bourbon — first appeared in Barflies and Cocktails, a 1927 book by Harry McElhone, a distinguished American bartender living in Paris. This Prohibition-era drink strikes the perfect balance between sweet, bitter and boozy, and the recipe has become a favorite of modern bartenders for its adaptability.
Ihde’s version combines Irish whiskey, French blanc vermouth, Luxardo Bitter Bianco (a new herbaceous aperitivo liqueur from Italy) and orange bitters. These ingredients are stirred with ice, strained into a coupe glass and garnished with an orange peel. The result is a pretty, golden-hued cocktail that looks a good deal more innocent than it tastes. Ihde calls this drink Hats and Glasses — an ode to “things that get in the way when you kiss.” Cute, right? But this drink won’t get in the way of anything. Wink.
GO: 1911 Main St., KCMO. affarekc.com
• 1 ounce Irish whiskey (Ihde uses Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt)
• 1 ounce blanc vermouth (use Dolin or your favorite blanc vermouth)
• 3/4 ounce Luxardo Bitter Bianco
• 1 dash orange bitters
*Combine all ingredients and stir with ice in a tumbler. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.