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Early autumn is one of Le Sirenuse head barman Roberto Pane’s favourite times of year. It’s a season, he tells the Sirenuse Journal, when, as summer lazily gives way to winter, everything seems possible: “it always makes me think of new projects”, he says, “that are somehow linked to the past, of days that are still warm and nights that last longer”. In homage to the season, he has created this cocktail, which he describes as “bringing memories of summer in its citrusy lemon notes, while the taste of chocolate raises the curtain on the coming fall. It’s more substantial than a Spritz but fresher and fruitier than a rich after-dinner drink… it’s the perfect cocktail for late September and early October!”
50 ml chocolate bourbon (see below)
25 ml lemon vermouth (see below)
10 ml salty maple syrup (see below)
1 barspoon vanilla liqueur
1 barspoon mountain pine (pino mugo) liqueur
3 drops chocolate bitters
Put 200g of powdered, 90% cocoa dark chocolate, 10g of finely chopped Sichuan pepper and 40g of powdered dried blueberries in a cold brew coffee flask or bottle. Add your chosen bourbon, which should be freezer-chilled, and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, pour through a fine filter and bottle.
Pour your chosen red vermouth into a jam jar, add the peeled zest of four lemons, and leave to infuse for two and a half hours. Then filter and bottle.
Salty maple syrup
Bring 250ml of maple syrup to the boil, add a pinch of salt (around 4g) and stir to dissolve. Leave to cool, then bottle.
When all the ingredients are ready, pour into a cocktail shaker with some ice cubes, shake vigorously, and pour into the glass. Roberto serves this cocktail in an oval tumbler by Venetian glassmaker Carlo Moretti, topped by a lemon leaf and some fresh berries. The sprinkle of gold leaf on the outside of the glass that you see in the photo is an optional extra!
Photo © Roberto Salomone