A cocktail for the summer.
For every sunny, summer day that calls for rosé, there’s another that calls for something more complex, a little bitter, but equally refreshing. On those occasions, I mix up a cocktail made with Italian amaro, some gin, and a bottle of spicy ginger beer.
Part of my family is from Abruzzo, and so I wanted to learn Italian to reconnect with that side of my heritage. I studied here, in the US, and in Rome, where I completely fell in love with the culture, the language, and (especially) the food. Now, when I can’t visit, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate Italian ingredients at home. Sometimes that’s an authentic cacio e pepe, and other times it’s my own take using the flavors I remember.
D’esate, which roughly translates to “in the summertime,” is the perfect way to describe this gingery, tart, and refreshingly bitter cocktail. Averna Amaro lends a full-bodied, bittersweet finish.
It’s also incredibly easy to make and doesn’t require any special syrups or hard to find ingredients.
Alright, so here’s how we do it.
In a cocktail shaker (here are my favorites right now), add the gin, amaro, lime juice, sugar, and smashed mint and shake with a few pieces of ice until the shaker is nice and cold. Then, strain the drink into a double rocks glass filled with ice and top with fizzy ginger beer.
The whole thing takes just a few minutes and tastes just different enough to feel unique.
What is amaro?
Amari (plural of amaro) are classic Italian digestifs served on the rocks, neat or in cocktails. Most know Campari, but the herbal-based Averna is another solid amaro that belongs in your cocktails.
How to use Averna?
Created in 1868 in Sicily, Averna is made from herbs, roots, and citrus giving it a mild bitterness that adds depth to any cocktail. Or, try with a splash of soda water with a slice of orange.
More of my cocktail recipes
- Ginger + Pear Cocktail
- A Black Thai Affair (Blackberry Basil Cocktail)
- Winter Bourbon Cider Cocktail
- Blackberry Basil Margarita with Basil Salt
Italian Amaro Cocktail — D’estate
- 1 fl oz gin
- 1 fl oz Averna amaro
- 1 fl oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 sprig fresh mint (smacked between your hands)
- 3 fl oz ginger beer
- Garnish: 1 sprig of fresh mint
- In a shaker, add the gin, amaro, lime juice, sugar, and mint and shake with a few pieces of ice. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice.
- Top with ginger beer and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.