In the first two installments of Cocktail of the Week, I explored some drinks that could be described as silly. Fairly or not, that's how people think about a Collins and a Wallbanger.

This week we turn our gaze to a drink that's a little more revered. But cocktail culture being what it is right now, it's a play on an old classic, not a straightforward drink.

The Newest Old-Fashioned at ERB downtown is a delight to drink. It might actually stretch the definition of what an old-fashioned is — not because the bar has subbed in bourbon in place of whiskey, which to some is perfectly normal and to others an absolute outrage — but because there's no sugar, no cherry and no slice of orange. But there is a half-ounce of amaro, the Italian herbal liqueur.

It's a good sipping cocktail. You can't quite chug it down, but it's not overly bracing, either. It's a good first-date drink.

Here's the recipe:
2 oz Basil Hayden bourbon
1/2 oz Amaro Angeleno
3 dashes Forbidden Bitters

Served over a large rock
Garnished with an orange peel

But if you do go to ERB to drink it, you'll have to play bocce ball in the court out back. Drink amaro, play bocce. It's a perfect pairing.

1936 E. Seventh St., downtown; (213) 335-6166,

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