Straightaway Cocktails’ Accompani brand, based in Portland, creates a range of relatively obscure beverages, ranging from vermouth to ready-to-drink amari-based cocktails. Today we look at one of its more enigmatic creations, Mari Gold, an amaro whose key ingredients include Seville orange peel, citron peel, orange blossom, and gentian root.
To start with, note that Mari Gold does not include marigolds among its ingredients. Its bright gold color helps it recalls Suze more than anything else, and it does as much on its bitter nose as well, combining rich gentian notes with earthy and floral elements. It’s a potent mix of anise, allspice, and potpourri, with orange peel hanging out off in the distance.
On the palate, the fruit elements are more readily apparent from the start, kicking off with notes of orange and grapefruit, with a gingery character appearing in the mix. Lightly sweetened but still leaning more heavily on its bitter elements, the amaro fades from orange oil to bitter orange peel and finally to the earth in which the fruit tree was grown, offering more notes of anise, ginger peel, and gentian. There’s a clinging baking spice quality to the finish that echoes gingerbread (albeit heavy on the cloves), and this is a welcome addition to the experience — but much like with Suze, Mari Gold is deceiving from the start. Its golden color entices you with the idea that you’re about to sit with summer in a glass, while the actual experience is decidedly much more wintry. It’s a fun diversion, either way.
B+ / $25 / straightawaycocktails.com