Whether you’re staying sober this weekend or after an elegant Italian tipple, the ruby-red Monte Rosso in January's Gin of the Month box is an instant escape to Italy.
Check out the two tasty recipes below and see how you can enjoy aperitivo time tonight!
When the sun starts to go down over the hills of Tuscany, the time is right for a classic Italian tradition: the aperitivo.
This ancient ritual is a little like pre-dinner drinks, with bitter cocktails consumed to whet the appetite. When Ounal Bailey, co-founder of Wisehead Productions, started looking into flavour profiles from around the world for inspiration for a new drink, the tradition of aperitivo caught her eye, and all roads led back to Rome. Ancient Rome, that is.
She explains, “Our passion for bitters led us to uncover its rich history – particularly how they’ve used to create drinks as an aid to digestion since Roman times. Our journey culminated in our bittersweet spritz, our ode to the tradition of Italian aperitivo.”
With a base of bittersweet cranberry and rowanberry, combined with fragrant botanicals and Venetian-style bitters, Monte Rosso encapsulates the elegant flavour profile for which Italy has become so well known in the cocktail world. As Ounal explains, “The wild mountain cranberry and rowanberry both deliver a more rooty, earthy note, with the dry finish that many non-alcoholic drinks can lack.”
Far from the sugary sweetness of most mocktails, this ruby beauty is complex and has real depth of flavour. Ounal’s favourite way to drink this Italian aperitivo? “That’s easy,” she says, “over ice, with a wedge of orange.” Of course, you can always add a dash of vermouth or mix it up into a gin cocktail, like the Garnet Sling below.
175ml Monte Rosso
Slice of ripe orange
- Pour 175ml into a copa glass packed with ice.
- Garnish with a slice of ripe orange, or add a splash of orange juice.
175ml grapefruit syrup*
Top with Monte Rosso
Grapefruit sherbet, to rim the glass
- To make grapefruit syrup, combine 250ml of grapefruit juice and 250ml of water in a medium saucepan and heat gently until combined. Set aside to cool.
- Rim a large rocks glass with grapefruit sherbet.
- Mix the gin, syrup and Monte Rosso in a mixing glass and stir to combine.
- Add ice to your rocks glass and pour over your aperitif.