Created by bartender extraordinaire Eric Alperin, he recently told me the inspiration and particular method he uses to get this cocktail just right.
“My inspiration was based on putting the cocktail/spirits program together at Osteria Mozza where the bar was focused on amari and aperitivi. The Osteria bar is an Amaro bar and hence the addition of Cynar (a Carciofo amaro – made with artichoke, usually around 17% alcohol content. These amari are usually taken as an aperitif, rather than a digestif.) I wanted an aperitif/amaro style cocktail on my cocktail list that had a bite to it. Basil adds that herbaceous kick (and is used in Italian cuisine) that fell in line with Aperol’s ability to get the palate going and geared up for a meal.
The basil is slapped and placed in with the ingredients for mixing. In essence “bruising” the basil. It is incorrect to shake it. It is a stirred drink.”
3 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp Cynar
Garnish: Small fresh basil leaf
Muddle basil leaves in mixing glass. Shake with remaining ingredients and ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with basil leaf.