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The Task of Amontillado

Fortified wines stand up to the spice and salt of charcuterie

Author Jolyon Helterman


A charcuterie spread at Cambridge, Mass., wine bar Belly (Michael Piazza photo)

AS THE CURED-MEATS CRAZE reaches fever pitch in Boston, popular watering holes like Belly, a wine bar in Cambridge’s hopping Kendall Square neighborhood, are beefing up their booze options for pairing with salumi platters. Bright beaujolais, tannic orange wines and bracing Spanish sherries have all made appearances, but Belly general manager Fanny Katz recommends “The Diener”: an amalgam of dry amontillado, raisin-y Lustau PX, and two kinds each of vermouth and bitters. Named for a sherry-loving regular, it pairs best with the house-made duck prosciutto.

1½ oz. Lustau dry amontillado
¾ oz. Cocchi vermouth
¾ oz. Punt e Mes vermouth
¼ oz. Lustau PX (optional, but recommended)
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
1 piece orange peel

Combine the ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze the orange peel to release its oil into the glass, then drop it in as garnish.

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