Here's a good formula: take aromatized or fortified wine, serve on the rocks. Wanna get fancy? Add a splash of soda. (Ok, it's not that fancy. But it is delicious.)
Serious Eats New York editor Max Falkowitz discovered this easy cocktail on the recommendation of his server at Hearth in the East Village. They key to the drink is a hefty pour of wonderfully bittersweet Cocchi Americano (pronounced "COKE-ey", not "COACH-ey"), which is made with fortified Moscato di Asti that has been infused with cinchona bark, citrus peel, spices, and other botanicals. Lightened with a bit of soda, it's orangey with just enough edge to keep it refreshing. You can increase the soda or serve it almost-straight, depending on your sweet tooth and your thirst.
You can adjust this drink to your taste—the Classico cocktail calls for equal parts Cocchi Americano and soda, though we like it with less.
Look for Cocchi at your local wine shop, or order it online if your state allows shipping. You can also try this with Lillet, which is a bit sweeter.
- 1/4 cup Cocchi Americano Apertivo
- Splash chilled club soda (up to 1 ounce if desired)
- Garnish: orange twist
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add Cocchi and stir twice to chill, add soda. Rub orange twist on rim of glass, then add to drink as garnish.