One of the great things about becoming known to your friends as a bit of a cocktail nerd is that they will try and bring you weird and wonderful potions from around the world, for you to mix and match for your benefit and often theirs too.
Returning from a buying trip in Italy, Aaron smuggled me back a bottle of Alexander Grappa Amarone. This Grappa is made from a single grape variety, Amarone from the Valpolicella region. It has a dry raisiny taste and it is quite pleasant lightly chilled on its own. After doing a small amount of research, I learned that Italians often drink Grappa in their coffee calling it ammazzacaffè or the coffee killer.
Inspired I set about making a variation on an espresso martini that made the most of the spirit. I have been thinking about making a raisin or muscatel syrup which would work very nicely, but for now the half and half maple syrup and amaretto work fine.
The Italian American.
Combine 40mls Grappa, 40mls fresh black coffee, 5mls amaretto and 5mls maple syrup over ice and shake with some vigor. Strain into a sherry glass and float coffee bean or two on the froth.
If the taste of the Grappa proves too much, you could drop back to a 20/60 ratio, but in my mind that masks the character of the spirit.