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Years ago I was asked to consult on a classic cocktail menu for a Steakhouse. Along with known drinks I really wanted to create a signature drink that was a tribute to the histroy of the place. Trying to channel drink styles like Manhattans, Negronis, and Sazeracs, I created this and called it 'The 55'. While the presentation went well, and the Steakhouse rolled out my menu, the only change the made was not to include this drink.
I returned to work at Napa Rose and began serving this drink to my guests. It became loved and each time it stung just a little bit. One night, Matt 'Rumdood' Robold came in and enjoyed the drink. We commiserated on how sad it was that the Steakhouse decided not to serve the drink. Their loss! At least it was being enjoyed, but it needed a new name.
That night, about 2:30 in the morning, Rumdood sent me a text. "Call it The Rejection Letter!" Thanks Dood. You always stear me right!
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Barolo Chinato
1/2 oz Cynar
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Stir and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with Lemon Peel.