Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo (443 East 6th Street; 212-614-6818) is a man who appreciates bitters. After twelve years as a chef and another fifteen behind the bar making what he calls “chilled soup,” Teague knows what he likes. To those who tend to get lost in translation, he can easily say what Amor y Amargo means: Love and Bitters.
“No juice. No sugar. No shaking cocktails,” Teague emphasizes. And in a roomful of something close to 200 bitters, each deserving of its own accomplishments, Jägermeister is not something meant to drop into a glass as a means to a fist-pump.
“It’s got a lot of flavors that people love. It’s masked by its bitterness,” notes Teague. Licorice, clove, and ginger are a few of the notable elements one may taste; there are over 50 herbs and spices used to create the spirit. “Jäger has this very rich, mouth-coating, sticky appeal,” he adds.
Part of the appreciation for Jäger is the fact that while drinking it, the body is training itself to enjoy its bitter taste. As Teague notes, “We are born on earth with a very sweet palate. Bitter is the only acquired taste.” With his passion for mixing savory drinks that educate drinkers’ palates to recognize bitter as pleasing rather than prickly, Teague created a go-to cocktail that may just help people get to that loving-bitter stage a bit quicker.
Teague’s Precision Timepiece cocktail includes Aperol to energize the drink, and hints of grapefruit, orange, and even cucumber are all part of the experience. The addition of versatile pimento bitters is also an important element to give the drink a balanced amount of spice.
Precision Timepiece recipe Courtesy of Sother Teague
11/2 ounces Jägermeister
1/2 ounce Amaro Montenegro
1/2 ounce Aperol
2 dashes of DeGroff’s pimento bitters
Stir over plenty of ice; strain into a Rick’s glass filled with ice. Add an orange twist.
Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. Check out our cocktail archives for another round.