Summer 2011 Host's Guide: Mediterranean Yacht Party: Cocktails

  • Christy Grosz

The intrepid traveler cruising the Mediterranean experiences many diverse flavors, but one ingredient endures: the lemon. Yet its juice, as well as those of its citrus brethren, is fragile, which is why Francesco Lafranconi recommends presweetening lemon or lime juice unless it is going directly into a drink. "Minutes after citrus is squeezed, it starts to pick up bitterness," he says. "Presweetening helps prevent that."

It also cuts down the steps to make his Corfú Dè Jávu, which Lafranconi calls a "sophisticated Pimm’s Cup" minus the traditional cucumber. "I decided to go a little more intense and Mediterranean—cucumber would still be good in this drink," he says. The strong flavors of the Corfú enhance the lively Spanish paprika and Turkish spices of the Mediterranean menu.

Damascus Affair serve with dessert
11/2 oz. vanilla-flavored vodka
2 oz. Sence Rose Nectar*
1 tsp. Hum liqueur
Juice of 1-inch-wide lemon wedge
1 tsp. crystallized rose petals (India Tree brand), for garnish
Lemon peel, for garnish

Combine vodka, rose nectar, Hum, and lemon juice in a mixing glass, stir quickly, and serve straight up in a cordial glass or over ice. Garnish with crystallized rose petals or fresh organic rose and lemon peel twisted on the surface of the glass. (Note: Do not shake with ice or the drink becomes too diluted.)
(*www.sencenectar.com and specialty food purveyors)

Corfú Dè Jávu serve with canapes
1 oz. Spanish-style aged rum
1/2 oz. Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz. Palo Cortado-style sherry
4 oz. ginger ale
11/2 oz. fresh lemon juice sweetened with
3/4 oz. agave nectar
English mint, for garnish
2 orange slices, for garnish
Star anise pod, for garnish

Combine rum, Amaro Nonino, sherry, ginger ale, and lemon juice in an ice-filled highball glass and stir before serving. Garnish with mint, orange slices, and star anise pod. Serve with straws (optional).