What Makes Don Angie's My Cousin Vinny-Inspired Cocktail So Unique

No, there's no one named Don that Don Angie, a New York City-based restaurant known for its lasagna and other Italian-style cuisine, was named after. Rather, as Angie Rito explained on "Late Night with Seth Myers," the restaurant's first name simply refers to the traditional Italian sign of respect. As in: "I'm the Don. I'm the boss."

Actually, Rito is a co-boss alongside her husband, Scott Tacinelli. According to Don Angie's website, the two first met while working in the kitchen of the same restaurant, New York's Park Avenue Seasons. In addition to that shared work experience, the two chefs and partners also share a similar Italian-American upbringing, which has provided the inspiration for their restaurant and also the name for their 2021 cookbook, "Italian American."

Don Angie debuted in the West Village in 2017 and, in the five years since, has received plaudits aplenty, including a coveted Michelin star. The restaurant's "playful" and creative menu approach, noted in its Michelin Guide listing, is on display in both signature dishes and specialty cocktails. How many Michelin-starred restaurants, after all, have a drink named after a malapropism uttered in a popular movie?

The backstory behind the 'Two Yoots' cocktail

Don Angie's Two Yoots cocktail is inspired by the 1992 movie, "My Cousin Vinnie." The film famously features Joe Pesci as an eccentric and inexperienced New York lawyer who heads down to the Deep South to try to help a cousin and his friend who were falsely accused of murder, per IMDb. Marisa Tomei plays Pesci's girlfriend and won an Academy Award for best supporting actress, according to The New York Times. Pesci's most famous line in the film happens during an exchange with the judge at the trial of the two youths, although with his New York accent, it sounds like "two yoots."

"Named as a nod to the movie 'My Cousin Vinny' — one of Scott and Angie's favorites — the Two Yoots cocktail is a drinkable twist on the classic Italian dish of Prosciutto and Melon," notes Don Angie in an email to Tasting Table. The restaurant's recipe spotlights Banks Rum, which is famed for its vintage blend of more than 20 rums sourced from nearly half a dozen Caribbean islands, and flavors it with prosciutto derived using a distinctive fat-washing method.

Per Don Angie to Tasting Table, the cocktail's recipe calls for one-ounce shots of the prosciutto-washed Banks Rum and fresh cantaloupe purée, as well as half-ounce pours of cantaloupe syrup and lemon juice. These ingredients are shaken and strained into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnishes include mint, melon ball, and prosciutto.