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Food

Drink me: Stiff and bitter is better

That’s Amaro cocktail
Vincenzo Marianella twists an orange peel above his drink That’s Amaro.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Vincenzo Marianella is often credited as the guy who brought craft cocktails to Los Angeles.

“That’s why they call me ‘the old man,’” he joked.

Marianella was behind the bar at Providence when it opened in 2005 and, in the years since leaving, has worked as a consultant when he wasn’t making drinks at Copa d’Oro in Santa Monica, which closed in February.

Now he’s at chef Brendan Collins’ Fia, a 300-seat, seafood-focused California-meets-Amalfi Coast restaurant in Santa Monica.

Vincenzo Marianella
Vincenzo Marianella, mixologist at Fia in Santa Monica, makes the cocktail That’s Amaro.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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“We’re going to have two bars with two separate identities,” said Marianella, explaining that the outdoor patio bar will be dining-oriented while the indoor bar is more lively.

With a lengthy drink menu designed to cater to both, Marianella plans to make the produce-driven cocktails that earned him early acclaim along with spirits-forward Italian flavors, as in this drink, That’s Amaro. It’s a bracing combination of grappa, amari and bitters.

That’s Amaro

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bonolo Amarone grappa
  • ½ oz Amaro Montenegro
  • ½ oz Amaro Nonino
  • 3-4 dashes Jerry Thomas bitters
  • 1 orange peel, cut with a vegetable peeler

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients and stir.
  2. Strain in a glass over ice or up, as pleases the person drinking it.
  3. Garnish with the orange peel.
Vincenzo Marianella’s That’s Amaro cocktail
Vincenzo Marianella’s That’s Amaro cocktail.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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