A new year calls for a new cocktail creation!
Lupara is Italian slang for a sawed off shotgun, particularly in connection with La Cosa Nostra (more popularly known as the Mafia). You might recognize the word if, like me, you read The Godfather and are obsessed with the novel and the film trilogy. Although I don't think anyone says the word in the films, in the first film (Best. Movie. Ever.) Michael Corleone's bodyguards carry them when he is in Sicily.
So why did I name this cocktail the Lupara? Three reasons -- (1) the key ingredient is Averna, a wonderful amaro from Sicily, where La Cosa Nostra was and perhaps still is powerful, (2) the word lupara is derived from lupo, the Italian word for wolf, so there's a tenuous connection to the Wulf Cocktail Den, (3) Vito Corleone (born Vito Andolini) hailed from Corleone, Sicily.
2 ounces rye
1 ounce Averna
2 dashes orange and juniper bitters from Bittered Sling
Combine in a shaker with ice, stir as if you're methodically stalking the target of your vendetta, and strain into a chilled glass.
Last month I discovered Averna. It has a great combination of citrus and herbal flavors. Unlike other amari such as Campari, which has a very strong and almost medicinal taste, Averna is smooth enough that you can drink it neat.
I highly recommend using Bittered Sling's product for this cocktail. The orange and juniper really complement the flavors in the Averna. If you can't get your hands on these bitters from our friends north of the border, use orange bitters. Regardless of what you use the result will be more elegant, but just as brutally effective, as its namesake.