The Bitter Truth Recipe

The Bitter Truth Recipe

[Photo: Christine Tsai]

This cocktail from Ardesia in NY plays on some of the flavors of a gin and tonic: quinine-spiced Bonal Quina (available online here) and white wine infused with juniper berries, coriander seeds, and star anise. A dash of celery bitters adds an aromatic vegetal note.

At Ardesia they use Pedro Ximenez from Elki in Chile for the wine, but any dry, minerally wine will work. Choose something neutral and not heavily oaked.

See more wine-based cocktails from Ardesia »

  • Total time:1 day


  • For the gin-spiced wine
  • 6 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 750 mL bottle dry white wine, such as Pedro Ximinez
  • For the cocktail
  • Ice
  • 1 ounce Dolin blanc vermouth
  • 1 ounce Bonal Quina
  • 1 dash celery bitters
  • 2 ounces gin-spiced wine
  • Splash tonic water
  • Garnish: 3 olives


  1. 1.

    For the gin-spiced wine: Grind juniper, coriander, and star anise until semi-fine and add to bottle of wine using a funnel. Close bottle with cork or stopper and let infuse at room temperature for 24 hours.

  2. 2.

    For the cocktail: Fill a shaker with ice. Add vermouth, Bonal quina, and celery bitters. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Add gin-spiced wine and splash of tonic water. Garnish with olives and serve.