Last year, I dined at Chinghale, a fantastic Italian entoeca and osteria in Baltimore, run by chef Cindy Wolf (who is building her own Baltimore restaurant dynasty I must say!) I was inspired to make this summery cocktail from my experience there, and while they used Aperol in the drink, I think Contrieu worked just fine. The basil (which is growing nicely in my garden) adds a fresh, almost medicinal quality to the fresh citrus, and the seltzer keeps it light and bubbly.
I served this before dinner for a nice light start.
- 1 oz Contrieu, Aperol, or Grand Marnier
- 1 oz Vodka
- 1 tbsp citrus-basil simple syrup
- 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 basil leaf
- Seltzer water
- Orange peel, for garnish
- Mix first five ingredients in a tall glass with ice.
- Top with seltzer water and stir.
- Add the orange peel for garnish.