La Merced

A pisco-driven Negroni variant with a healthy dose of Amaro Montenegro.
1 12 oz Pisco, Campo de Encanto
1 12 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 12 oz Sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula
Pour all three ingredients into a double old fashioned glass and stir. Add an ice sphere or large ice cube, and stir gently. Express the oils from a wide orange twist above the glass and slide it in behind the ice.
A riff on the classic Negroni, named after an Italian settlement in the mountains of Peru.
La Merced Cocktail
©2011 Josh Miller/
From other users
  • Use 1 1/2 oz of Amaro Nonino instead of the Amaro Montenegro for a more satisfying La Merced. — ☆☆☆☆
  • An excellent negroni variation. I'd try to this perfect. — ☆☆☆☆
  • Used Montenegro and Punt e Mes — ☆☆☆☆
  • A bit sweet. Try 50:50 sweet and dry Vermouth next time. — ☆☆☆☆
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I tried this with 1 oz

I tried this with 1 oz Montenegro and 1 oz Punt e Mes. Nice, but a touch sweet, even with the ratio change. I'd split the vermouth half sweet and half dry. An interesting Negroni variation. I also would suggest re-writing this with 1 oz portions to make the overall size more appropriate.


What a delightful drink. Mine was not overly sweet as was the case for several users, and had a SLIGHT but pleasant bitterness reminiscent of a Negroni. And the orange zest brought everything home.

Based on the fine quality of my cocktail, I would not use any other ingredients as did several users. I suspect the Pisco used by them may have been the culprit. As with different brands of gins, different brands of Piscos may give you a different taste. Indeed, even where the Pisco is made will influence the taste. I have one Pisco made in Peru (Porton) and another made in Chile (Alto del Carmen). They are as different as night and day, yet both are delicious in the right mixtures. For the La Merced, I used the Chilean Pisco (Alto del Carmen), which is made predominately of Muscat grapes. What I have read about Piscos suggest that you choose your Pisco with care, and perhaps have two very different Piscos, given the impact they can have on the resultant taste of the cocktail</p>


To those who read my comments

To those who read my comments written yesterday, I owe an apology because I gave some misinformation of sorts. This morning, as I read what I wrote yesterday, I re-played in my head what I did to make my La Merced. And in doing so, I discovered a major difference in one ingredient I mistakenly used in place of what was called for. Yet that mistake is what resulted, I believe, in an excellent cocktail that I rated at 4.5.

Specifically, by mistake I used AMARO NONINO instead of Amaro Montenegro. The former resulted in a light tasting, very delicious, and by no means sweet drink. In fact, the flavors of each ingredient complimented each other. Today, I made a La Merced using the Montenegro (but only 1 1/4 oz), and I have to admit it was sweet and no where near as satisfying as the one made with Amaro Nonino; I would rate this drink at 3.5.

Now we know the culprit--Amaro Montenegro. So for a far better La Merced, use Amaro Nonino instead of Amaro Montenegro (and use 1 1/2 oz).


Based on the comments about

Based on the comments about sweetness, I made this with Campo de Encanto, Punt e Mes, and Montenegro (I find Nonino much sweeter than Montenegro, personally) as 1:1:1.  The result was not at all overly sweet to me, and Negroni-level bitter. (Which I consider a good thing.)