Learn About It, Be About It
1 1/2 oz Gin [Detroit City Distillery]
1/2 oz Amaro Angeleno
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Few Dashes Charred Cedar Bitters [Black Cloud Bitters]
Stir with ice, strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.
For the last ten years, my work commute has been by car. The bad news is I read a lot less books since I no longer take public transportation. The good news is I have SiriusXM, which makes listening to the radio much more enjoyable. My go to radio show on the way home is the All Out Show on Shade 45, hosted by Rude Jude Angelini.
Some of you may recognize that name from his stint on the Jenny Jones show in the late nineties. He has since mellowed out a bit (for his standards) but still has some pretty crazy stories from his past and present. He ended up putting them into two books – Hyena, released about 5 years ago, and more recently Hummingbird. Whenever his books drop, he encourages his listeners and readers to post a picture of the book on Instagram. I’m more than happy to oblige, but obviously I had to make a cocktail to go with it.
I used Jude himself as the inspiration and tried to use local spirits from two places to which he has strong connections. The first is LA, where he is currently based. There are plenty of great spirits from there, but Amaro Angeleno particularly caught my eye because it is very close to his last name, Angelini. Plus it’s got a nice edge to it, just like him Jude originally hails from Michigan, and spent lots of time in Detroit. He’s always giving plenty of love to Detroit musicians, from Bob Seger to Doughboyz Cashout. So, I discovered Detroit City Distillery and incorporated one of their bottles as well.
Both places were nice enough to send me some sample bottles after I explained my goal. I decided to use Detroit City Distillery Gin. With it’s heavy pine notes and subtle citrus, it lives up to its “Michigan in a Bottle” description. This ain’t your parents London Dry. The Amaro Angeleno is very citrus forward, but has a nice botanical bitterness as a foundation. Given these two spirits as a starting point, I brought in Yellow Chartreuse to highlight the herbs in both the gin and amaro. Grand Marnier compliments the citrus notes of the Angeleno.
Learn About It, Be About It starts off with lots of citrus and piney notes, no doubt from the gin and amaro. Yellow Chartreuse contributes its own bouquet of herbs. On the sip, its more conifers and herbs for a very refreshing combination. Grand Marnier bumps up the citrus from the Angeleno, while Yellow Chartreuse helps highlight all of amaro’s botanicals. Most of the sweetness in the drink actually comes from the Yellow Chartreuse and Grand Marnier. The dry vermouth provides a crisp finish, as the herbs and botanicals usher everything down. One last zesty citrus punch pops up at the end.
The name comes from an oft-repeated saying from Jude, usually uttered when he’s doing a segment like Sample Session. He’ll take an artist from the 70s (eg Bill Withers), then play his original songs followed by hip hop songs that feature his samples. Jude has a wealth of music knowledge, and he’s always trying to get people to understand where the music they like comes from. His phrase “Learn About It, Be About It” is solid advice not only in terms of listening to music, but even life in general.