With this preposterous election year careening to an anti-climax, I was inspired to make a cocktail that hearkens back to a time long ago, to a man who seems strangely familiar. For all of his faults (like murdering thousands of people, including priests, who disagreed with him), Benito Mussolini wasn't all bad. He practically invented Fascism, which is no small feat. And he had no qualms about posing shirtless in the Italian Alps on a skiing trip (as a well-deserved respite from the demands of dictatorship). And I imagined being part of the coterie of admirers of his hairy, barrel-chested governance. And after a sweaty time on the slopes, we would all gather at the ski lodge to down well-crafted cocktails made from Liquore Strega, while plotting the subjugation of the masses. This drink is strong, bold, and uncompromising, like Fascism itself, but also delicious, unlike Fascism, with the uniquely Italian taste of Strega, accented by the Absinthe-coated glass.
SKIING WITH IL DUCE
1 part Liquore Strega
1 part Gordon's London Dry Gin
1 part Domaine de Canton
1½ parts Sanpellegrino Limonata
juice of a wedge of fresh Lemon
dash of Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon bitters
Coat the inside and rim of a chilled cocktail glass with Absinthe. Stir all ingredients in an iced shaker, then pour into the cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist and an intransigent edict.
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