Tuesday night I went to mingle with fellow art peeps at this month’s Opus Affair at Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square.  With Aaron Butler at the helm, this bar is in very good hands—Aaron makes pretty damn good drinks.  The menu has lots of yum stuff on it, but don’t be afraid to go off menu and ask Aaron to suggest something. I did and was not disappointed.  My request: something interesting and fresh with Chartreuse.  I know, not particularly creative on my part, but I was kind of tired and indecisive.  And when I am in that kind of mood, I always return to my old friends, those spirits and liqueurs I like best.  Luckily for me, Aaron was a bit more on his game than I and I ended up with a really delicious variation of the Last Word.  The versatility of the formula of this drink never ceases to amaze me.  In this version Aaron mixed equal parts Tru2 Organic Gin (this really nice, rich California-made gin), green Chartreuse, Meletti Amaro and lime.  From the first sip, I knew there was something wonderful going on– the gin, chartreuse, and lime were familiar, but was that other flavor?   Meletti Amaro.  A bittersweet Italian herbal liqueur (amaro means “bitter” in Italian) is often served as a digestivo.

On its own, the flavor reminded me a warm gingerbread cookie—creamy and caramelly with a sweet spice.  So good! I fell head over heels!  And the rich, warm flavor worked well with the California gin and the Chartreuse for yet another amazing variation of my favorite drink.  I think Meletti Amaro will be the next bottle I buy.