L’Alto Stallone


Another drink from the Feast spirited dinner, this one is quite overdue. Featuring gin, the high stallion is a fantastic drink featuring maraschino and Amaro Abano.

A gin highball-style long drink, the L’alto Stallone, or high stallion in Italian, is sweetened with maraschino liqueur, and uses grapefruit juice instead of the more traditional citrus of lime or lemon.  The use of the maraschino and the grapefruit juice are seen in play in things such as the Hemingway Daiquiri, and as such, has a strong background.  Yet, the flavor profile is really pulled together by the inclusion of Amaro Abano and orange bitters, which bridge the former of which helps pull the maraschino and grapefruit into a strange sort of funky but excellent alignment, while the latter simultaneously moves the gin into a more bright and vivid finish.  Jackson Cannon, the creator of the drink, chooses to use Regan’s orange bitters here as a supplementary flavor profile, and the slight spice notes from the Regan’s play nicely with the amaro.

Surprisingly easy on the soft-palate, the drink is an exceptional summer time cooler, and would work well even in the winter months, if you tweaked the ratio of ingredients slightly.  Because abano is quite sweet, using a different amaro will help pull out sharper flavors, and in the end provide quite a different sipper.  But because of the sweetness, a London dry gin is almost a requisite, especially with the inclusion of the maraschino.

Showcasing the Preiss / Anchor Distilling portfolio, Amaro Abano by Luxardo is fantastic, and is made with wild grown herbs and an infusion of cardamom, cinnamon and bitter orange peel.  The orange is extremely prevalent, and the cardamom gives it a sort of green, fresh vegetal note, a flavor which goes wonderfully with gin (seeing as how it is common for some gin brands to use cardamom as a botanical).  Not as bitter as other amari, the Abano is plenty sweet on its’ own.  Traditionally, amari are used as after-dinner digestif, and are popular in Italy (the name amaro means bitter in Italian).  There are several styles of amari, including fernet (a more sharp bitter amaro), alpine (which uses alpine rather than Mediterranean herbs), carciofo (artichoke based) ,rabarbo (rhubarb based), china (made with cinchona), among other more sweet or light styles.  Certain versions are oftentimes served hot (such as the rabarbo or china based varieties).

Made through maceration of herbs, roots, citrus peel and bark in alcohol, the filtered substance is mixed with a bit of simple syrup to add sweetness and bring it back into a sort of balance with the overall flavor profile.  In most cases, the amari are then stored and aged in barrels or in the bottle, which helps to let the flavors mingle and come to the satisfying conclusion.

L’Alto Stallone:

1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino
1/2 ounce Luxardo Amaro Abano
2 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
4 drops Regan’s orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker tin, chilling satisfactorily and serve as a highball.