An old friend, Beth (a self-described lunch junkie), asked me recently to take a trip over “the bridge” with her to Osteria Vespa, a new restaurant at 28 Amity St. in Amherst. I was onboard as soon as she told me they have a full liquor license.
I arrived first and Jill, the bartender, handed me a menu and recited the lunch specials. The fare is Italian Mediterranean, with an emphasis on wines, but they do have a nice selection of cocktails. When she arrived, Beth ordered the Italian Chopped Salad with a glass of Chardonnay. I had a bowl of Spicy Tomato Soup and Fettuccine Carbonara, along with a Vespa Jockey Cocktail, which contains Tanqueray gin, Campari and Tuaca, a sweet Italian liqueur with the taste of vanilla and citrus. When I asked Jill if I could see the bottle of Tuaca, she handed it to me and did a fine impression of Fozzy Bear: “Waka Waka Waka.” Yes, I laughed.
The cocktail was refreshing with a sweetness up front, and Campari bitterness on the back end. It was delicious, as was the food. I look forward to going back for dinner, sitting outside on the patio and trying the housemade meatballs.
Tim Driscoll is a bartender, a former bar owner and a perpetual student of mixology.
How to make a Vespa Jockey Cocktail
1½ ounces Tanqueray gin
1½ ounces Tuaca
¼ ounce Campari
Serve on ice in an Old Fashioned glass
Original Article: http://www.gazettenet.com/artsentertainment/hampshirelife/16687965-95/tim-driscolls-barhopping-tuaca-waka-waka-waka