"The Ciao Bello is the espresso martini or Irish coffee's better, tastier, more sophisticated cousin."
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10 BEST WINTER COCKTAILS IN METRO PHOENIX
The Spot: The Parlor, Biltmore Area
The Drink: Ciao Bello
"The espresso martini has never been the choice of anyone who knows better. Too fussy and bad tasting to be humdrum or 'drinkable'. The kind of drink Jamie Oliver would tweet out harmlessly, the kind a cocktail historian like David Wondrich would rather not validate.
Likely this is because espresso is an unruly — if not a potentially lively and exciting — ingredient. Most bars can’t pull a good shot, and then there’s the matter of most standard recipes calling for vodka (usually so tasteless that bad poor espresso becomes the star) and, perhaps, creme de cacao.
Michael Allmandinger of The Parlor flips the espresso cocktail on its head. The Ciao Bello incorporates St. George’s NOLA (New Orleans-style) coffee liqueur, Salted Cacao Bitters from Workhorse Rye, and Fernet Branca Menta amaro for a minty twist. Allmandinger lets Italy’s two traditional after-dinner beverages, espresso and amaro, sing in harmony, as they flirt with a minty profile and mint garnish that lands the drink deliciously close to a mint chocolate frappuccino from Starbucks; a distant flavor memory, but a good one."