The Dirty Mela

 Ohhhh... you so dirty.

Ohhhh… you so dirty.


This is the Dirty Mela. An Anthony LeDonne original. I’m probably not the first to mix these three ingredients in these ratios, but I AM the first to post it on my website. And, since my website is my world [no different from real life], I’m the first to make it. Ever. [No arguments.]

The stars of this show are Applejack, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth.

Applejack is a watered down version of apple brandy, and by “watered down” I mean “cut with 80 proof grain neutral spirits.” 

You’d think that would make an inferior product. And you’d probably be right.

But honestly? [everything else on this site is a lie]

Applejack is better than apple brandy in this drink.

And it’s cheaper. 

Don’t waste a delicate apple brandy in here… Your wallet will notice the difference far more than your tongue.

This drink tastes a lot like what I think a bitter apple sucker would taste like if there were such a thing. Maybe it’s not a thing for a reason. Maybe nobody likes bitter apples [except Sleeping Beauty?]. Am I the only one? WHERE AM I? I’M SO ALONE.

The name Dirty Mela points to the drink’s roots: mela, Italian for apple, and dirty… well I don’t know why dirty was in there. But it felt right [translation: Wiff named it so it’s not changing].

The Ingredients

  • 1oz Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth
    I haven’t tried other brands here, so YMMV with others. I’d be wary of Cinzano and Martini & Rossi’s sweeter/thicker profiles.

  • 1oz Laird’s Apple Applejack

  • 1oz Campari
    Don’t be a putz and sub out Campari. You can’t. ESPECIALLY with Aperol.


  1. Add everything to a mixing tin/glass/jar/container full of ice.

  2. Stir while you sing your favorite Dean Martin song (you have one, right?)
    Why Dino? Because he’s a fucking fantastic singer, that’s why.

  3. The entire song.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    Don’t call it a martini glass. You don’t work at Applebee’s. Also, don’t call cocktails martinis unless they are Martinis, made only with gin and dry vermouth (although a dash of orange bitters is acceptable per the original recipe). A “vodka martini” is called a Kangeroo. And yeah, you should feel weird saying that; that’s the price you pay for drinking a “vodka martini”. [Can you feel my judgement?]

  5. Drink.
    Let me know what you think in the comments below [yeah, we’re doing that now.]