Ingredients: Rye, sweet vermouth, walnut liqueur, honey, lavender bitters
Background: This flavor combo struck Rich Andreoli as he enjoyed a walnut-lavender scone during his trip to run with the bulls in Spain. Back in LA, he whipped up a one-night special for an experimental bar where he worked. “You’d create five new cocktails that were original and you’d never run ’em again,” Andreoli says. “You wanna try a cocktail injected into a gummy bear? You got it.” On his 50th or so menu, he turned to racehorses to pick out a name: Secretariat. And when he ventured into Pammy‘s as bar manager five months ago, Andreoli revived the cocktail, this time as a nod to Gladiator.
Flavor: Andreoli taps a nutty base like Wild Turkey or George Dickel to stand up to the sweeter elements. Then comes the lavender. “When used correctly, it can dry something out on the finish,” he says of the difficult ingredient. In fact, “The more resistant you are to lavender, the more I want to make it for you.”
A bitter end: As regulars taste their way through the nearly three dozen amari on the menu, Andreoli is always looking to give guests something else to sample. The latest après-dinner option: Noveis, a blend of wild mint, tarragon and hazelnut from Piedmont, Italy.
Up next: The roster of originals—including the Stefani, which features a shit-ton of banana components and is named after Blake Shelton’s better half—will grow as each bartender teams up with a chef for some culinary inspiration. Prefer to stick to the classics? In February, the Cambridge restaurant is rolling out seasonal spins on 20 tried-and-true drinks, like the Martinez, Cosmopolitan and margarita, available at the bar.
Pammy’s 928 Mass. Ave., Cambridge (617-945-1761) pammyscambridge.com