Italian Duet at Icehouse: Two become one in this drink of the week

Espresso and vermouth, making beautiful music together.

Espresso and vermouth, making beautiful music together.

Italian Duet Icehouse $9

The brunch-going masses may gorge and slurp on overblown bloodies and fishbowl sized mimosas, but not you. You are refined. You exercise sophisticated restraint. You, however, still like to get a buzz on at breakfast time. The Italian Duet at Icehouse was made for you.

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Italians know a thing or two about incorporating booze into their daily routines; it's not uncommon to have a finger or two of grappa or sambuca with your caffeine fix, whenever. It's in this casually cosmopolitan spirit that we sip the Italian Duet. To create this potent double dose, Icehouse presents an expertly pulled shot of espresso alongside a chilled cocchi di Torino accompaniment, a sweet vermouth from Italy which was in recent years resurrected for distribution from a recipe dating back to 1891.

The result is a surprisingly complex drinking experience derived from such simple elements. You'll never go wrong with a well-made piping hot espresso, bitter and rich with a layer of crema, but pair it with a moscato-based sipping vermouth with notes of rhubarb, tobacco, and cola, and you've got a deconstructed cocktail that really sings.

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