While Lillet and vermouth may already be on your radar, let us introduce you to Cocchi Americano, your new go-to aperitif. It is a favorite among mixologists and is pronouced COKE-ee (not COACH-y). It shines on its own, with a splash of soda, or in any number of traditional drinks, from white Negronis to ice-cold Vespers.
The beverage director of Chicago’s Galit, Scott Stroemer, characterizes it as floral but loud and powerful in flavor; bitter yet sweet. He discovers that it’s difficult to change Campari (or Beyoncé, or other single-name stars) from what it is.
Cocchi Americano: what is it?
Cocchi Americano is an aperitif wine from the Piedmont area of Italy, according to Juliana Wolkowski, a bar consultant based in Toronto. The recipe calls for a base of white wine that has been added alcohol and then “macerated with botanicals, including gentian, cinchona, bitter orange peel, rhubarb, juniper, coriander, rose and mace.” The brand itself debuted in 1891.
The bar manager of New York City’s Al Coro, Matt Reysen, purchases a lot of chamomile, apple, and pear from Cocchi. The word “Americano” really derives from the Italian word “Americante,” which means “bittered,” and describes the drink’s sweet, citrus-driven aromas together with spice and a little bitter backbone.
According to McLain Hedges, co-owner of Denver’s Yacht Club, “it has a fantastic combination of sweet, bitter, and herbaceous with a nice lift from the acidity in the wine.” “It is bursting with white blossoms and lemon, but it also has just enough herbaceousness and alcohol structure to play well in a variety of cocktails. It is the ideal illustration of strength and dexterity.”
Cocchi Americano—is it a vermouth?
Despite the fact that aromatized wines like Cocchi, vermouth, quinquina, and Lillet are produced using comparable techniques, they all taste remarkably different. Stroemer highlights the main distinctions as follows: Cocchi Americano calls for a base wine of Moscato d’Asti that has been flavored with cinchona bark and citrus peel, whereas Quinquina calls for quinine as the principal bittering ingredient and vermouth utilizes wormwood.
another crucial distinction? the degrees of sweetness. When fortified, vermouth and Lillet are sweetened, whereas Cocchi Americano is bracingly bitter. Lillet is deceptive, claims Stroemer. Cocchi is brave.
How can I purchase Cocchi Americano?
Although the product might be unfamiliar to you, it can generally be found where most spirits and wines are sold. Both larger liquor stores and your local bottle shop ought to have some.
How Is Cocchi Americano Consumed?
You now possess your Cocchi Americano bottle. How will you use it? Wolkowski says, “My ideal serve is in a fizz.” “A wine glass filled with ice, soda, and a twist of grapefruit.” Reysen enjoys it in spritzes, as an alternative to vermouth in Martinis and white Negronis, or simply over ice with garnishes of fresh citrus or olives.
Hedges says his preferred method is to include it into a simple mixed drink with your preferred spirit, “apart from a glass on ice with a splash of soda and a lemon twist.” ” Add one part Cocchi and one part of your preferred spirit, followed by a small amount of freshly squeezed citrus, sugar, and mint. If you have access to some crushed ice, it will help a lot.” Additionally, he will substitute it in cocktails that call for an aromatized wine “particularly in beverages where Lillet is called for. “
What Would Make a Good Alternative to Cocchi Americano?
Lillet and Cocchi have a shared past. The original Lillet recipe, known as Kina Lillet at the time, was bitter and quinine-forward, similar to Cocchi Americano.
According to Reysen, the original recipe for the current Lillet Blanc was Kina Lillet. “In 1986, Lillet decided to remove the quinine from their recipe in order to appeal to a wider audience. In the past ten years or so, many mixologists have substituted Cocchi Americano for Kina Lillet in classic cocktail recipes.”
Stroemer advises prudence when performing the change. Even at modest quantities, Cocchi Americano may be overwhelming, he observes. Since the flavors are strong, keeping it simple is preferable. Try sours or over ice with soda and gin or vodka. Recently, Stroemer combined Cocchi Americano with grapefruit, lemon, mint, sparkling water, and other ingredients to create an Italian-inspired mojito.
In the end, Lillet or white vermouth will do if you don’t have Cocchi Americano, but keep in mind that both have less bitter flavors.
How Long Does Cocchi Americano Last?
Yes! Keep Cocchi Americano in the refrigerator after opening, just like you would any white wine (or vermouth). It is strengthened with a higher-proof alcohol than, say, an open bottle of wine, which keeps it stable for longer. However, a bottle that has been opened will gradually start to lose flavor and lose some of its botanical essence.
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