Food & Drink

DRINK: The Sotto Chinotto

by Lea Faminiano

So it’s time for a drink recipe here on Couch Sessions, and it comes to you by way of two brilliant people: this particular drink begins with Dan Amatuzzi, beverage director of the ever-popular and oh-so-delicious Italian food mecca Eataly, and he also happens to be one of Zagat’s 30-Under-30.

My own connection with the drink came from Casey Feehan, general manager of Eataly’s Pranzo (one of my favorite lunch spots in NYC), and she is also a food and drink extraordinaire, as well as an all-around awesome person.  She and I spent some time tinkering with various liquors, sodas, fruits, and whatnot to figure out how to make some delicious cocktails, and we finally settled on making the refreshing Sotto Chinotto.  If you haven’t had plain Chinotto, it’s basically a bitter cola-like Italian soda – not something you can just pick up at the corner bodega, but you’ll be able to find it at specialty Italian stores (and definitely at Eataly, so go visit!).

I get some iced tea vibes from this drink – it’s really refreshing and easy to drink, and also easy to make.  No frills with this one, you just throw the ingredients together and drink – isn’t that what we all want in the perfect cocktail?  It’s great for drinking outside in the summer, and even though the hot weather is winding down, I’m all for finding any excuse to drink outside.

The recipe below is for one Collins glass – we used bicycle-print tumblers, and you could probably use this recipe for two tumbler sized drinks, but let’s be honest, you’re going to have more than one glass, anyway, so keep in mind you’ll probably double (maybe triple?) the recipe!

Casey also gets credit for the beautiful photos – make sure you head over to her blog for much more!

Sotto Chinotto [adapted from Saveur]

1 1/2 oz Chinotto
1 oz gin
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 leaves basil, thinly sliced (we used fresh basil that Casey grew!)
Sparkling white wine

In a glass filled with ice, mix together Chinotto, gin, lime juice, and basil.
Top off with sparkling wine.