High Style in a Cocktail Glass

Kate Chernoff’s elegant Armani cocktail pays homage to the Godfather of fashion

Kate Chernoff’s elegant Armani cocktail pays homage to the Godfather of fashion. YAM Magazine May/June 2023

You may think it’s just a pretty cocktail. But to Kate Chernoff, bartender at The Courtney Room, it represents strength, beauty and the evolution of cocktails. She named it “Armani,” which, in Italian means “warrior” and is also the name of one of the great icons of fashion, Giorgio Armani. 

“Giorgio Armani describes the ethos of his fashion empire as ‘the idea that less is better and that timeless elegance is a form of gentle radicalism,’ which is the same thesis which I carried in the creation of my drink,” she writes. “I chose to dedicate this drink to his namesake to embody this concept. My cocktail, Armani, is rooted deeply in Italian tradition, and is mixed with style, drawing inspiration from the flavours of Italy. The base of this cocktail is elegant and timeless.”

Similarly, she notes, “As bartending takes daring strides with molecular techniques, we must find the balance in changing with the times, without losing sight of timeless tradition.” 

This modern cocktail is inspired by the classic Godfather (amaretto and Scotch whisky, served on ice). It is a  complex drink to make, but well worth the effort. As Chernoff says, “This is my love letter to someone who I view as the Godfather of Italian fashion, Giorgio Armani.” 

Armani Cocktail

Created by Kate Chernoff of The Courtney Room. Note that you will need access to a microscale, sous vide circulator, immersion blender and specialty ingredients such as xanthan gum and Versawhip, and that the prep should start 24 hours before you plan to serve this drink.

Kate Chernoff’s elegant Armani cocktail pays homage to the Godfather of fashion. YAM Magazine May/June 2023

• 1 oz Disaronno Originale

• 2 oz Beeswax & Hazelnut Infused Cognac (see notes below)

• ½ tsp 4:1 saline solution (see notes below)

• Garnish: Amarena Cherry & Arancia Rossa Foam (see notes below)

In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients and ice. Stir until well chilled and diluted to your liking. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Top with foam. Enjoy at sunset after a long day of trendsetting. Serves 1.


To make Beeswax & Hazelnut Infused Cognac:

In a sealable bag, combine 1000g Cognac, 100g beeswax and 100g hazelnuts. Place in a sous vide circulator at 60°C for 2 hours. Fine-strain through a fine mesh filter and transfer to a clean glass container; can be stored indefinitely, sealed, in a cool and dark place.

To make saline solution: Combine 200g boiling water and 50g Maldon sea salt in a heat-proof container. Stir until salt dissolves. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to an eye dropper or dasher bottle. Will keep indefinitely.

To make Amarena & Blood Orange Syrup: Whisk together equal parts (by weight) of freshly squeezed blood orange juice and Amarena cherry syrup from the jar of garnish cherries. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To make Arancia Rossa & Amarena Cherry Foam: On a microscale, weigh out 3.4g malic acid; 1.1g xanthan gum and 3.2g Versawhip 600k (modified soy protein used to replace egg whites or gelatin in foams). Mix dry ingredients together. 

In a 1 L container, combine ½ cup water and ½ cup Amarena & Blood Orange Syrup. Stir in the dry ingredients, whisking until all the chunks are gone. Let sit for 12 to 24 hours to hydrate all ingredients. With an immersion blender, whisk blend on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, moving up and down to allow full homogenization and aeration.