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].
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.
Add everything to a mixing tin/glass/jar/container full of ice.
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.
The entire song.
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?]
Drink. Let me know what you think in the comments below [yeah, we’re doing that now.]