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Granville, OH – February 7, 2012

I figured I needed to get this post up ASAP.  The last time I was in Granville and had a great cocktail that I wanted to post I never quite got arounjd to it…and then the place went out of business.  I definately do not want Emily George’s Bella to suffer the same fate!

Bella has always had a good selection of base spirits and a few original recipe cocktails on the menu.  However, when I perused the bar last night after arriving I couldn’t help but notice the bottle of Aperol sitting there.  Now, that’s a liqueur you don’t see in any ‘ol bar (heck, I don’t even have it at the Twilight Lounge!).  So I asked the bartender what she made with it…and the answer was, I’ll have to ask Emily.

A few moments later Emily George, appeared at our table.  As we talked it quickly became apparent that she knew her stuff.  After she got an idea of what I liked she suggested a cocktail that was similar to a Manhattan in construction, but totally different in ingredients.  She didn’t have a name for it, so I’m going to call it the Bella.  Two parts Appleton Dark Rum, 1 part Aperol, a dash of Fee’s orange bitters and garnished with a flamed orange peel.  And it was fantastic!  The familar and tropical flavor of the Appleton, with its sweet, cane sugar overtones was the perfect foil for the somewhat bitter Aperol.  The Fee’s orange bitters (always a favorite) pulled it all together in perfect package.  This is a quintessential cocktail – simple, to the point and great flavors!

As we got to talking I learned that Emily is quite accomplished.  She asked me if I wanted to try something really new and I said sure…she left for a moment and came back with a pre release bottle of … well, I promised not write about it.  Let’s just say that I was impressed (for once) by a flavored vodka.

As dinner progressed I did a have second cocktail that was equally delicious, although in totally different ways.  Uncharacteristically, I did not record all the ingredients.  It did feature Barenjaker Honey liqueur and ginger beer with orange flavors as well.  I do love the ginger beer – so much more flavorful than ginger ale!  This one was served in a pint sized glass and was very refreshing – it would be perfect for those hot summer days poolside!

So, if you find yourself in Granville, OH, be sure to stop in at Bella for great food and even better cocktails!

Cheers!

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