Champagne, ribolla, Volnay, Walla Walla syrah, Howell Mountain zin, Tokaji…by the end of this year’s Top 100 tasting in San Francisco, the last thing anyone needed was another glass of wine. So we headed to the nearby W Hotel, where we had reserved its modish second-floor bar for our after party.
Wine & Spirits’ new West Coast tasting coordinator, Erik Tennyson, was behind that bar. He’d been working for days on some cocktails worthy of the discerning crowd. A few spirit producers also chipped into the cause: Anchor Distilling, Charbay and Domaine Select Wine Estates donated bottles of Braulio Alpino Amaro, Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Bourbon, Hophead Vodka, Junipero Gin, Tequila Tapatio and Luxardo Aperitivo.
That Luxardo Aperitivo—one of the Year’s Best new releases in our annual Buying Guide—gave a bittersweet bite to the light, refreshing Prosecco spritz, the drink that turned out to be the hit of the evening. The clean juniper notes of the Junipero Gin made for a pure rendition of a simple Southside, also popular after a night of wine.
Here’s how to make them on your own:
- 1 oz Luxardo Aperitivo
- 3 oz chilled Prosecco
- Orange peel
- Pour the Luxardo Aperitivo into a Champagne flute, followed by the Prosecco. Garnish with an orange peel.
- 2 oz Junipero Gin
- 10 mint leaves
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz lemon juice
- Soda Water
- Place the mint, syrup and lemon juice in a mixing glass and muddle. Add the ice and gin and lightly shake before pouring into a collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.
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