MxMo: Amundsen

It’s Mixology Monday time again. This month’s host is Stewart over at Putney Farm, and his theme is “Intercontinental”. Submitted drinks must have ingredients from at least three different continents. Being over-achievers, we decided to see if we could hit all seven. Read on to see what we achieved…

Our first thought was to start with bourbon, that being a quintessentially American spirit. Bourbon plays well with amaros, so we added some Italian Averna. It also works well with black tea, so we decided to pivot a little and use rooibos tea from South Africa, which has a tannic, slightly sweet, dried-leaf flavor. Those three worked well together in tasting, though the bourbon we started with (Willetts family reserve) was a little too assertive, so we went with Angel’s Envy as that is less hot. We also found that the rooibos tea was watering down the drink a bit, so we made a reduction of that to concentrate the flavor. Next, we thought that adding a hint of anise would work well, in the way that a touch of absinthe is often used to add complexity to a drink. Columbian aguardiente filled the bill nicely in this capacity. We wanted some spice to add fullness and a more interesting finish to the drink, which came in the form of Indian cracked black pepper and Angostura bitters. Finally, we wanted a little more sweetness and richness to round out the mouth feel, and turned to a small float of Australian port to finish the drink off. Six continents down! We didn’t have time to import any penguins 😉 so we decided to represent Antarctica by naming the drink after the explorer who first arrived at the South Pole, Roald Amundsen. And that makes seven. Yeah, that’s kind of a dodge, but we’re declaring victory anyway 🙂


  • 3/4 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Averna
  • 3/4 oz rooibos tea syrup (make double-strength tea, then simmer on the stove until reduced by half)
  • 3/4 oz aguardiente (you can use ~1/4 oz of absinthe as a substitute)
  • 1 good grind of fresh black pepper
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 oz ruby port

Stir the first six ingredients in a mixing glass for 20 seconds or so, to give the pepper a chance to macerate. Add ice and stir a little more. Double strain into a glass. Add the port as a float. Garnish with a cherry.

  • Nose: Anise, root beer, hints of mint, coconut, nutmeg.
  • Palate: Anise, root beer, dried leaves on the front. Cola notes between the open and the mid-palate that segue into pepper and bourbon on the middle. Oxidized cooked fruit and red wine notes from the port on the mid-palate through the finish, along with aromatics from the bitters and tannic, sage-brushy notes from the rooibos. Starts lightly sweet and finishes dry. Tingly pepper aftertaste.

Very fall appropriate. Spicy with a hint of fallen leaves and dry sage notes. We think Amundsens will likely put in an appearance at our Thanksgiving gathering this year 🙂

Thanks Stewart for a great theme and hosting this month!

Update: Be sure to check out the roundup to see the other great entries.

This entry was posted in aguardiente, amaro, bourbon, Mixology Monday, Original Cocktail and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to MxMo: Amundsen

  1. putneyfarm says:

    Nice work- and using Amundsen isn’t a dodge at all, we suggested that the name and narrative are key parts of a great cocktail.

    You may see a “Shackleton” cocktail somewhere in the mix soon… 😉

  2. I love the tea reduction. I love that technique when trying to increase the richness of the drink. Thanks for the tasting notes also.

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