Twins Take On… Italian Cocktails & Liqueurs

In Italy, drinking is all about the life around you…

There’s nothing like a sip of pleasantly bitter Campari or a palate-cleansing Aperol Spritz before an Italian meal. Now in Italy, Aperitif is an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. This is very common in Italy.

From old standbys like negronis to new twists on Italian classics, we’ve rounded up our favorite Italian-inspired cocktail recipes.

Albertini Cocktail

This is our very own cocktail, it is fresh, summery and is amazing for special occasions. The Alberti Special…

Ingredients:

Makes one cocktail

  • 30ml Vodka
  • 30ml Limoncello
  • 60ml Prosecco
  • Peeled lemon skin twist

Method:

Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour into a chilled sugar coated rim martini glass with a peeled lemon skin twist.

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Italian Stallion Bloody Mary

This is our Italian Twist on the Classic Bloody Mary. The ultimate hangover cure with an extra kick. Our Italian Stallion Bloody Mary really lives up to its name and gets the blood flowing in all the right places 😉 and is of course a natural aphrodisiac 😉  Sure to boost your libido and your sex life, so give it a try! Forza!

Ingredients

  • 10ml Balsamic Vinegar
  • 20ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 3 Fresh Sage leaves
  • 5 Fresh Basil leaves and extra for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly grated Horseradish
  • Pinch of Peperoncino chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Juice & Zest 1 Lemon
  • 5 Dashes Worcester sauce
  • 5 Dashes Tobasco sauce
  • 175ml Tomato juice
  • 60ml Premium Vodka
  • 1 Celery stalk for garnish
  • Skewered green olive for garnish

Method

Blend all ingredients in a blender until combined and smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a skewered green olive, basil leaves and celery stick. Salute 😉

Espresso Martini

It’s rich, indulgent and creamy, and the shot of espresso will make sure you keep up with the pack. As a drink it’s deliciously confusing – coffee and vodka simply shouldn’t be allowed to taste this good together, but they do. The liqueur has a wicked sweetness while the coffee gives it a rich depth, whilst the vodka delivers that necessary kick that lets you know you’re doing something naughty. It’s all finished off with the thick, luxurious, creamy froth that sits at the top of the glass.

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Grey Goose vodka or any high quality vodka
  • 35ml coffee liqueur
  • 25ml espresso (cold)
  • Ice

Method:

Pour the vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini cocktail glass and garnish with three coffee beans next to each other on top. The three coffee beans represent, Happiness, Health and Prosperity. 

espresso_martini

Sgroppino

If you want something refreshing, try sgroppino—a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco that is common in Italy as a palate cleanser, a dessert, or a pre-dinner drink. Whisking the ingredients together creates a chilly, frothy libation.

Ingredients:

Makes 1 Cocktail

  • Lemon Sorbet
  • 85ml Prosecco
  • 30ml Vodka

Method:

In a stainless steel bowl or cocktail shaker, whisk together the sorbet and a splash of the prosecco until fully incorporated. While whisking, slowly pour in the vodka and then the remainder of the prosecco. Serve in a martini glass or coupe.
Sgroppino

Negroni

When it comes to Italian cocktails, it doesn’t get much more classic than the negroni. The drink, first created for Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 at Florence’s Café Casoni, is simply a mixture of equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth usually Martini Rosso. The resulting drink is bitter, a little sweet, and a stunning shade of pink. These are really strong but look amazing and after the first one goes down, the rest is history 😉

Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part sweet vermouth (Martini Rosso)

Method:

Stir Campari, gin, and vermouth in an ice-filled tumbler; garnish with orange slice.
From this simple base can come a universe of variations. Swapping out the gin for sparkling wine, which first happened at Bar Basso in Milan in 1968, create a negroni sbaliagto, or “bungled negroni.” To make a Boulevardier, the gin is replaced with bourbon.
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Negroni Sbagliato

This bubbly Negroni variation, whose name means “bungled,” was invented at Bar Basso in Milan in 1968 when a bartender accidentally put sparkling wine into the drink instead of gin. It is an excellent choice for a brunch cocktail.
Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 part dry sparkling wine
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part sweet vermouth (Martini Rosso)

Method:

Stir wine, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice; garnish with orange twist.
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Aperol Spritz

Found all over Italy, the spritz is a classically Venetian cocktail.

Makes 1 Cocktail
Ingredients:
  • 3 part Prosecco
  • 2 part Aperol
  • 1 part Soda
  • Add ice and Orange slice, to garnish

Method:

Combine Prosecco, Aperol and soda water in a tall glass filled with ice; garnish with orange slice. This is one of our favourites!!
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Hugo

This is a fresh and tasty cocktail, the perfect drink for the hot summer. Easy to prepare, no need of bartenders equipment, just a few ingredients mixed in the right way.

Ingredients:

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large wine glass with ice and garnish with mint leaves.

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Campari
A red, bitter cordial that can be served in many ways, including with grapefruit juice, vodka or Tonic Water and ice. Campari fans drink it undiluted, on the rocks or mixed either with mineral water/soda or, for a more aggressive taste, with white sparkling wine.
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Frangelico 
Hazelnut liqueu/cordial, a nice after-dinner choice if you have a sweet tooth and is particularly nice with coffee.
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Grappa

Fermented from the peels, seeds and stems of grapes. Grappa is usually clear in color and of high alcoholic gradation. Grappa can be purchased plain or flavored in a variety of ways: with pears, apples, prunes, and  can be produced with various types of grapes, berries or herbs. Grappa is very popular in northern Italy, and has gradually gained recognition in many other countries, particularly in the US. It is normally consumed as an after dinner digestive drink or with coffee.

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Limoncello 

Limoncello is obtained by macerating lemon rinds in alcohol. The best known limoncello-producing area in Italy is probably the Sorrento Coast, in Campania, where lemons are almost as big as grapefruits and their scent mixes with that of the sea and deliciously fill the air. Interestingly, limoncello at its best offers mixtures of lemon, lime and marine scents. Nowadays, limoncello is made in most parts of Italy, but the Sorrento version remains the most exquisite.

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Marsala Wine

Italy has many types of “Port-like” wines or “vino liquoroso”, including Marsala. Marsala is a deliciously sweet wine, produced in different varieties and quality levels. Its cheaper versions, usually defined “marsala imitations” may be ok to bake with, but if you’re a wine lover, opt for the better quality marsala and enjoy a wine which can easily compete with the best ports. Marsala wine is divided in dry, semi-dry and sweet categories, and can be aged from 1 to more than 10 years.

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Martini Rosso

Characterised by subtle notes of orange and caramel, Martini Rosso has got a unique perfume, rich herbal notes and unmistakable dark colour.
Mix it with lemonade or cranberry juice for the perfect summertime cooler.
Martini is a true Italian icon. Established in 1863, Martini has a strong family heritage and has become the most acclaimed and cosmopolitan Italian drinks brand in the world.First created by Martini in 1863, Martini Rosso is the authentic vermouth: natural, elegant and refreshing.

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Amaretto

(Italian for “a little bitter”) is a sweet, almond flavoured, Italian liqueur. Amaretto serves a variety of culinary uses, can be drunk by itself neat or on the rocks, and is added to other beverages to create several popular mixed drinks, as well as to coffee.

Italian Amaretto liquor and almonds isolated on white

Sambuca

The most popular brand of Sambuca, the one that almost stands as a synonym for the product itself, is certainly sambuca Molinari. Sambuca Romana, however, is another popular choice in Italy. This strong, syrupy and aromatic liqueur is made with star anise and white elderflowers. It is served as a digestive or, with the addition of water, as a long (and refreshing) drink. Usually served neat or added to coffee typically espresso. If you order this in a restaurant, you will typically see 3 coffee beans floating in it, (called Sambuca con la mosca – Sambuca with the fly) signifying health, happiness and prosperity.

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Nardini Rum 

Here in the mountainous of Tuscany,  the Garfagnana region, in the town of Fornaci di Barga, there is a history of a delicious distillate that they call “rum” or “Leone 70,” for its alcohol content of 70%. 140 proof.

“Leone 70,” a warm sweet dark distillate of sugar cane,”rum,” a bottle of which is purportedly in every cupboard, is generally used in “Caffè Corretto,” corrected coffee, and fires up the furnace of many a Garfagnino. The company that produces it right here in Fornaci di Barga goes back over 100 years having started out travelling the backroads from Fornaci to Modena, selling not only Leone 70 but also a wide range of distillates and liqueurs using ingredients culled wild from the local mountainsides including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, chestnuts, and walnuts. They even produce a distillate of Porcini mushroom. Fortunately, “Leone 70” is used judiciously, a nice warm kick to the coffee, morning or afternoon, which may account for the warm friendly temperaments hereabouts.

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Vecchia Romagna

Known as one of the finest brandies worldwide, Vecchia Romagna is made using a traditional distilling method. The great deal of care and attention given to the Italian Brandy allows it to develop a distinctive character and harmonious blend of flavours, despite being quite a young spirit. Best served in brandy glasses and gently warmed with the hands, Vecchia Romagna works well as an after dinner drink or with a good quality espresso coffee and rich indulgent chocolates.

vecchia_romagna_italian_brandy

Strega Alberti 

This brand called Strega Alberti, Strega literally meaning “witch” in Italian, this is a yellow, bitter-sweet liqueur cordial with a unique taste. The Strega liqueur, is among the most famous Italian liqueurs, unique and unmistakable for its taste, thanks to the exclusive use of natural ingredients. Natural product of the distillation of 70 herbs and spices from all over the world.

Flavour and velvety, the Strega liqueur is loved for its versatility makes it ideal for any time of the day. It can be enjoyed plain or iced, fruit or joined dessert, ice cream or hot chocolate and also forms the basis of many famous and refined cocktails.

The life of Strega Liqueur began in 1860, evoking the old legend that places the city of Benevento as the former seat of witches’ rites. . It was said, in fact, that witches from all over the world, gathered at night around a magical walnut, and that they had created a magic potion that united forever, couples who drank it.

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