Grazie a Toney Teddy Fernandez per le foto.
Carlo Simbulla (ex Pinch, Doping Club) and Milo Occhipinti (ex 1930) have recently launched a new cocktail list at Morgante, the most elegant bar on Naviglio grande. The list is very different that most Navigli bars, since it uses contemporary techniques and taste profiles that you would expect to find in the best bars in London and NY. On this bold menu, you will find drinks that taste like Pad Thai noodles, Tiramisù and even Jerk chicken!
Milo, the latest addition to the team, describes the list as modern, but without going crossing the line into the dreaded "minchiologist" territory. Below I highlight the five drinks I sampled along with Toney Teddy Fernandez and Kate Wheeler (Jameson Ambassador in Italy) on a recent trip to Morgante.
Jerk It Like Its Hot (9.5/10) with Jerk infused Jamaican rum, pimento dram, coke syrup, charred pineapple juice. Apart from the provocative name, this drink caught my eye because of the Jerk infusion. Jerk is a style of cooking in Jamaica where meat is prepared with a spicy mix consisting primarily of allspice (pimento) and Scotch bonnet peppers. It works beautifully in this drink by Milo, which is my favorite on the new menu. The coca cola syrup is also a great addition, which you can appreciate the most on the finish. Awesome.
Snack di Mezzanotte (9/10) with Michter's bourbon, port, coffee liqueur, orgeat, egg and granola cookie. A liquid dessert that would be the perfect way to finish a meal. This flip cocktail will remind you of the milk and cookies you put out for Santa Claus on Christmas eve or even the popular italian dessert tiramisù. It's a creamy, silky and complex cocktail that I highly recommend. Nice job Milo!
Garilbaldino (9/10) with Jameson Black Barrel, Fresh Grapefruit juice, lemon, bitter Campari, Marsarla Florio. This drink by Carlo is very refreshing and pleasantly tart thanks to the grapefruit and lemon. An elegant whisky drink that would appeal to both feminine and masculine palates. This drink finally convinced me that Jameson Irish whisky can work wonders in a cocktail.
Noodles All You Can Eat (8.5/10) with a stir fry infused gin, fresh lemon juice and egg white. As a big fan of Asian noodles, this is a great drink for my palate. On the nose, you will be reminded of Pad Thai, which was Milo's intention with this modified gin sour. I enjoyed the Asian spices on the palate and of all the cocktails on the menu, this one is the most creative. With a bit of tinkering with the pad thai infusion, this would be a 10/10 for me. Both Toney and I felt there was too much garlic but both Kate Wheeler and Mirta Oregna declared this the best drink of the list.
Si Salvia Chi Può (8/10) with Michter's Rye, fresh lemon juice, blackberries and sage. According to Kate, from the smell it's like a lollilop. This delicate and easy drink by Milo has an amazing mouthfeel, with a great equilibrium found between the sour and sweet components. Not my genre of cocktails but I found it very pleasant to drink.