Sother Teague is known for working his magic with bitters, vermouth and all manner of amari. That’s what he does as the beverage director at Amor y Amargo, the acclaimed New York bar. There, the bartenders follow a strict ethos: They don’t use juices, syrups or shakers, opting to solely make stirred cocktails where the spirits are always the star of the show.
It requires a deft touch to create drinks that are balanced and nuanced, but Teague and company have mastered their practice. And you can see that craft in action with the Precision Timepiece cocktail, which features Jägermeister, Amaro Montenegro, Aperol and pimento bitters.
Jägermeister has come a long way from its reputation as a college shot or something to be dropped into Red Bull. The dark, German liqueur is bittersweet and intensely herbal, with notes of licorice, clove and ginger. Those flavors, plus its rich mouthfeel, work well in a variety of cocktails.
In the Precision Timepiece, Aperol cuts through some of the Jäger’s bitter and herbal notes, brightening things up with orange and grapefruit. Amaro Montenegro, with its 40 proprietary botanicals, brings more citrusy orange character to the party, plus flavors of caramel, cola and honey, which lend extra body and sweetness. And finally, a couple dashes of pimento bitters are employed for additional spice and complexity.
Teague’s cocktail is a reminder that bitter is a relative term, and amari and herbal liqueurs can be harnessed to make drinks that taste a lot friendlier than their individual components might suggest—no simple syrup required.
- 1 1/2 ounces Jägermeister
- 3/4 ounce Amaro Montenegro
- 3/4 ounce Aperol
- 2 dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
- Garnish: orange twist
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice.
Stir until well-chilled, and strain into a rocks glass over one large cube.
Garnish with an orange twist.