The bartenders at Downtown Cocktail Room love their amari, and use them liberally whenever they collaborate with managing partner Jeremy Merritt on the next seasonal menu. With the release of the fall lineup, however, those complex Italian liqueurs were joined by chocolaty mole, warm chipotle, vanilla-influenced tequila and spicy chili—flavors that tug at memories of family and autumn in the southwest. Try them while you can; the winter menu drops Dec. 17.
By Krystal Ramirez, $9
In a dill-salt-rimmed 18-ounce Bordeaux wine glass, add 2 ounces house-made michelada mix (tomato juice, black pepper, chipotle pepper, sea salt and Worcestershire; try Demitri’s, Demitris.com), ½ ounce Plymouth gin, ¾ ounce lemon juice, and top with 1 Pacifico beer. Stir and garnish with a spear of cotija cheese, a pimento-stuffed green olive and a yellow chili.
2. Black Widow
By Kristyn Davis, $10
In a mixing glass, combine ½ ounce Amaro Meletti, ½ ounce Cynar, ½ ounce house-infused Cocchi Torino sweet vermouth (cinnamon, whole clove and red chili pepper), 2 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters and 1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters. Add ice, stir well and strain into a chilled 6-ounce coupe. Express the oil from an orange swath over the top of the cocktail and drop into the glass.
3. S’more’s Better
By Kevin Gorham, $10
Combine 2 ounces Bracero reposado tequila, 1 ounce Amaro Meletti, 1 ounce Amaro Averna, 3 dashes house-made tobacco bitters (try Snake Oil tobacco bitters, $23 at CocktailKingdom.com), ½ ounce brown simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a chilled, graham cracker-rimmed 15-ounce snifter glass, and add 1½ ounces Guinness, then stir once. Brulée a marshmallow and drop into the glass.