I first met Micah Melton in the fall of 2012. We had entered the Chicago market and our distributor took me to meet him. We had just released the Chicago version of Project Amaro, and I was excited to share with him what we were doing. He was Charles Joly’s second at The Aviary.
If you’ve never been to The Aviary, it is a palace where the cocktail is worshipped. There are new and innovative means of presenting cocktails- things that you have never seen before. But the presentation is always secondary to the actual cocktail- balanced and beautiful, expressing flavor ideas you had never expected. The service is stellar; although the cocktails are different, the servers are never condescending about them. They are educators, explaining what you are drinking and why it works.
We had never intended to approach Micah about working with us, because we didn’t want there to be any conflicts of interest. Charles had just started a line of RTD’s (they are fantastic- you should try them!) and I wanted to be respectful towards him.
Then I met Micah. Micah is an incredibly gracious, smart and kind human being. He is the embodiment of hospitality and service, with a killer palate to boot. I knew immediately that I wanted us to work with him.
Micah started working on a recipe for us, for our second Chicago version of Project Amaro. He sent us the recipe. The recipes we get typically produce about 300ml of product. Our first job is to scale this up to 5 gallons in a highly scientific process we call “The Bucket Test”.
Usually it takes 5-6 buckets to re-balance the spice load. Micah’s landed in the first bucket. It’s never happened before or since.
We compound gentian root distillate (our chosen bittering agent) in the finishing stages of amaro production. We tasted Micah’s amaro before adding gentian root and thought it would make an amazing liqueur. We had him taste two samples- with Gentian root and without it. We chose to make it a liqueur versus an amaro.
We named it after the gift that bartenders sometimes send each other- a Boomerang.
Boomerang is cherry, apricot, orange, walnut, cinnamon, vanilla, peppercorn and a touch of cayenne. It is sweetened with agave nectar. The oil from the walnuts coats your lips.
It’s incredibly versatile. You can bring out each flavor independently and craft a cocktail that uses one component of the flavor wheel.