Shift Drink: Brynn Smith, Sotto

Mexico meets Italy in this bartender’s perfect nightcap

Welcome to Shift Drink, where we take a peek into the post-shift drinking habits of L.A.’s finest food and drink personalities.

Brynn Smith, Bar Manager of Sotto, was handed the reins to lead the program after Nick Meyers’ departure in 2013. Brynn was a part of the original bar team at the Southern Italian-inspired restaurant after spending time behind the bar at chef John Sedlar’s now-shuttered Rivera and Playa. A native of rural Washington, Brynn is constantly inspired by the rustic country cuisine at Sotto as well as the abundance of Italian spirits lining the bar shelves. Her cocktails are playful, fun, and unexpected but classic at heart. It’s no surprise that her favorite after-work drink is a riff on a Negroni, Italy’s
ode to Campari and all things bitter/sweet.

Read on to see how she switches things up and learn how to enjoy a little “amore” in the privacy of your own home.

What’s your shift drink?
“I love a Tequila Negroni! Switch out the Gin for a nice Reposado Tequila, like Tequila Ocho, and with the Campari and Carpano, it is very tasty, bitter, and boozy. I made “That’s Amore” on our menu for that reason alone. People often ask me what my shift drink would be, and that’s my recommendation.”

That’s Amore
1 ½ oz. Ocho Reposado Tequila
½ oz. Campari, 1/2oz. Carpano Antica
½ oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
¼ oz. Braulio Amaro
9 drops of my Housemade Fresno Chili and Carob bitters

Stir in stirring glass with ice, pour into Coupe glass with orange peel.