“Our grandfather started this place in the 1950s”, explains Francesco Sersale as we sit down for a cocktail. “It was his and his three siblings’ summer home — and they opened it as a small B&B, gradually acquiring homes on either side.”
‘This place’ is, of course, Le Sirenuse — the famous, bright-red grande dame hotel in the heart of Positano. During the golden years of La Dolce Vita, the Pompeian outpost became a lifestyle icon; attracting visitors on the hunt for the old-world Amalfi experience. And, somehow, it has managed to resist the hand of change — and retains its historic charm and ‘family home’ feel to this day.
Sersale and his brother, Aldo, are the third generation to lead the Sirenuse dynasty, injecting youthful energy into proceedings and spearheading a fresh, welcome focus on the hotel’s food and cocktails.
Which brings us to the cocktail. A Bloody Mary might not seem the obvious choice for an evening seaside drink, but Sersale is insistent. This lighter libation is a world apart from the soupy, savoury Bloody Marys of London’s bottomless brunches – freshened as it is with plenty of lemon juice and the natural sweetness of sun-ripened yellow tomatoes. Paired with shellfish, the drink is sublime.
Head Barman Roberto Pane and mixologist Alessio Lupo came up with the cocktail under the watchful eye of Sersale’s brother, Aldo. Intended as an antidote to the endless lemon granitas and fruity cocktails served on the Amalfi coast, the drink’s ‘umami’ quality comes from Colatura di Alici, a savoury anchovy sauce which is native to the Amalfi coast.
“Our take on the classic drink highlights the flavours and ingredients of the Amalfi coast,” Sersale explains. “It’s light, fresh and perfect for late summer when tomatoes are in season.” To make it at home, infuse your own vodka with some raw red chilli peppers a couple of days in advance”.
How to make the Le Sirenuse ‘Aldo’s Bloody'
- 50ml Chilli-Infused Vodka
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 8 drops of Colatura di Alici Anchovy Sauce
- 80ml of Yellow Cherry Tomato Juice
- Celery Salt (for the rim of the glass)
- Wet the rim of a highball glass with lemon juice.
- Roll the rim in celery salt to coat the glass.
- Fill a mixing glass with cubed ice and add all ingredients.
- Stir until chilled, and strain into your serving glass.
Want more exciting cocktails? Here’s how to mix CleanCo’s Clean Coconut Margarita…
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