This drink is grown up. Grown up for me anyway.  It seems that as I have matured, so has my palate.  My sweet tooth seems to be finally subsiding.  I was told this categorically at Christmas when I served this up with the post present opening , pre-lunch, alcohol absorbing canapés. Apparently this is the best christmas cocktail so far.  I’m pleased because I sort of made it up.  We couldn’t come up with a name for it..

It’s a bittersweet, perfect for winter drink.  Not the big hitter that a Negroni is, subtler and slightly less lethal.

I tried to find blood oranges but I couldn’t so mixed pink grapefruit and normal orange juice. I think it would work with the blood oranges too.



-Gin 25mls

Amaro Nonino 25mls ( you could use any type of Amari – e.g Fernet Branca or Campari)*

-**Pink peppercorn and basil simple syrup 5-10mls (depending on your sweet tooth)

-Pink / Ruby Grapefruit Juice 25mls

-Orange juice 25mls

-Orange bitters-a few drops


  1. Add lots of ice to something like a cocktail shaker.
  2. Put the Gin in and stir it around for 10 seconds softening the drink without adding any ice crystals.
  3. Add the Amaro and stir for a few seconds more.
  4. Add the juices and syrup.
  5. Stir once more and strain into a low ball glass filled with big bits of ice
  6. Add a round of sliced orange/grapefruit and a few drops of bitters.
  7. Serve

*I find Nonino has a subtler bitterness than Campari, it’s less dramatic. If you use something else, make sure you taste and change up the balance a bit.

**This sugar syrup is much like any other- equal amounts of sugar and water ( used one cup of each) bring to the boil with a few tablespoons of peppercorns (mix pink and black for more spice) and a small bunch of basil, let it simmer for a few minutes then cool.       Strain and bottle it- it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You can use it as the base for other cocktails or even just add cold soda water to it.

FullSizeRender (2)





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s