The tiny Italian village of Portofino may be a haven of superyachts and oligarchs (the destination is said to have the densest population of billionaires in the world) but the Italian Riviera also has a rich culinary offering. The finest basil pesto comes from nearby Genoa, and the temperate Mediterranean climate ensures produce from peaches and tomatoes to courgettes and elderflower are drenched in sun and filled with flavour.
Since the 1950s, Portofino has been the playground of the rich and famous; an icon of ‘la dolce vita’ with colourful shuttered houses and turquoise waters. And a trip to Portofino simply wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail at Splendido Mare, the harbourside outpost of the unimaginably glitzy Splendido Hotel. Everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to The Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill to George Clooney have sipped cocktails here over the years.
“This fresh and aromatic cocktail is suitable for an hour of the day…”
The bar and hotel re-opened this May with a brand new ‘zero kilometre’ menu, created by Head Barman Jeff Zanotti to celebrate the flavours of the Italian Riviera. The ‘Oro Della Liguria’ cocktail – it means ‘Ligurian Gold’ – is a case in point.
“I created this drink to enhance one of our most important local products; the Ligurian basil,” Zanotti tells Gentleman’s Journal. “This fresh and aromatic cocktail is suitable for an hour of the day. It’s blended from local ingredients, including basil plucked straight from our garden. I am inspired by the perfumes and aromas of the beautiful territory of Liguria, which are enhanced by all the ingredients in this cocktail.”
How to make Splendido Mare’s ‘Oro Della Liguria’
- 40 ml Gin (Splendido Mare use Portofino Gin)
- 20 ml St Germain Elderflower Liquor)
- 10 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 4 Basil Leaves (one to garnish
- A slice of Dried Orange
- Pour all of your ingredients into a shaker
- Shake energetically for 20-30 seconds
- Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice
- Strain the contents of the shake into the glass
- Garnish with a single basil leaf and dried orange slice
Want more summery cocktails? Try Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin’s ‘Bee’s Knees’…
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