Contessa Recipe

Jessica Leibowitz

Mojitos and mint juleps are wonderful warm-weather drinks. But sometimes a late-spring or early-summer day requires a drink with a bit of an edge, a spark bright enough to match the waning light of a late sunset.

The Contessa has such an edge, and a flavor that to me is particularly seasonal. Created several years ago by bartenders in Boston, the Contessa is a slight tweak on the classic Negroni, substituting the bright bitter-orange flavor of the Italian aperitivo Aperol for the deeper, more assertive bitterness of the garnet Campari.

With a pleasantly bitter bite and the color of a sunset, Aperol makes the Contessa an excellent aperitif--or simply a refreshing cooler for an early summer weekend.

Recipe Details

Contessa Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Serves 1 serving


  • 1 ounce gin (Beefeater is recommended)

  • 1 ounce Aperol

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth (Cinzano is recommended)


  1. The Contessa is comfortable in two variations: for the first, simply combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice; stir well for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For the second variation, stir with ice as above and strain into a rocks or old fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Either way, be sure to twist a piece of orange peel over the drink and use as garnish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
180 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 28mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)