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Journal > Aperitivo time: Recipes for our favorite cocktails

Aperitivo time: Recipes for our favorite cocktails

April 6th, 2020 - Colin O'Brien

We always have the makings of a few signature cocktails close to hand. There’s nothing wrong with reaching for an ice-cold beer or a glass of wine at the end of the day, but sometimes you just need something a little more special.

Food and drink can be a great way to relive memories, especially in times like these. And while there’s no substitute for enjoying one of these with friends after a long bike ride in Italy or Portugal, we’re tipping our hat to all the places we can’t wait to go with these signature cocktails. So bottoms up, and here’s to raising a glass together real soon.



With its roots in early 20th century Florence, this is the quintessential Italian cocktail. Legend has it that Count Camillo Negroni wanted his favorite drink, the Americano, to have a little more kick, and so the bartender replaced the soda water with gin. Great as an aperitivo and the perfect choice whenever there’s an edge that needs to be taken off, this is the gold standard in cocktail cool.

Ingredients:

1 oz Dry gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Vermouth rosso
Orange (for garnish)

Method:

01. Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice.
02. Add all of the ingredients and stir until cold.
03. Garnish with a half-wheel of orange.




Think of the Hugo as the generic Spritz’s cooler cousin from the mountains. Perfect for an afternoon refreshment or to open the appetite before dinner, it’s light, perfumed, and fruity – and if it’s made well, the most revitalizing cocktail you can have.


Ingredients:

Prosecco
Elderflower cordial (to taste)
Soda water
Fresh mint leaves

Method:

01.  In a large wine glass filled with ice, combine the prosecco and a splash of soda water with the cordial and mint leaves and stir until mixed well. 
02.  As an added flourish, add a slice of lime or a sprig of rosemary to finish.  



No, this isn’t a cute nickname for our beloved company founder. The Portuguese Daisy is a simple but elegant cocktail that packs plenty of flavor, thanks to its star ingredient, the Port wine of the Douro Valley, which is one of our favorite places in the world to ride a bike. Think of it as sangria’s cooler cousin.


Ingredients:

2 oz Good quality port
1 oz Brandy, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Half a teaspoon of fine sugar
A dash of grenadine 

Method:

01. Combine all the ingredients and some ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and shake well.
02. Serve in an old-fashioned glass, with a lemon wedge to garnish.





Like the Portuguese Daisy, this is a stylish alternative to the cheap punch that unfortunately has become synonymous with sangria. The best of Spain is represented here, because the red wine is replaced by wonderfully effervescent cava and we’ve swapped out the brandy normally used in sangria, in favor of sherry for some nutty depth and a hint of sweetness. 

Ingredients:

1 Bottle cava
5 oz Manzanilla sherry
3 oz Simple syrup
1.5 oz Combier liqueur d’orange
Lemon wheels, mint sprigs, orange peels and raspberries, for garnish

Method:

01. Pour all of the ingredients into a large pitcher. Add ice and stir gently to combine. 
02. Serve strained into a tall glass, with an expressed orange peel, a raspberry, a lemon wheel and a mint sprig to garnish. 

Cocktail nerds might argue over this drink’s origins, but most will agree that France is its spiritual home, and we can’t think of anything that suits that country better, whether we’re living it up at a stylish bar after the last stage of the Tour de France, or enjoying a balmy summer’s evening after a stunning ride in Provence. 


Ingredients:

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Orange liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple syrup
A dash of lime juice

Method:

01. Sugarcoat the rim of a cocktail glass.
02. Combine all the ingredients with some ice, shake, and then strain into the glass.
03. If you wish, garnish the drink with a small wedge of orange.


Because California knows how to party. The Mai Tai has a strong Tahitian vibe, but it was born in Oakland, and although these days the hipsters would probably shun its mid-century exuberance for being too uncool, we love the Tiki vibe, and the way it reminds us of the golden age of Hollywood. 

Ingredients:

2 oz Good quality aged rum
3⁄4 oz Fresh lime juice
1⁄4 oz Rock candy syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
1⁄4 oz Almond syrup
1⁄2 oz Orange Curaçao

Method:

01. Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with crushed ice.
02. Shake vigorously until the shaker is well-chilled and frosty on the outside.
03. Pour into a glass of your choice, and garnish with half of a juiced lime and a fresh mint sprig.

 

 

 

 

  

 

Colin O'Brien

Connect:
colin@ingamba.pro

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