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


  1. Mix first five ingredients in a tall glass with ice.
  2. Top with seltzer water and stir.
  3. Add the orange peel for garnish.